From 1998 to 2000, 184 animals (82 wolves, 29 red foxes, 55 mustelids, 5 raccoon dogs, and 13 domestic dogs), mainly shot by hunters in the Tvier and Smoliensk regions of northwest European Russia, were tested for Trichinella larvae; 98 animals (53.3%) were found to be positive. The highest prevalence was detected in wolf (97.5%). Trichinella nativa was the most common species detected (98%). The diet of wolves was investigated by examining the stomach contents of 62 animals (75.6% of the total number of wolves examined for Trichinella). It consisted mainly of dog (36.4% of the total number of occurrences of all food items, PFO) and moose (31.2 PFO); however, during the hunting seasons of 1998–1999 and 1999–2000, skinned wolf carcasses were left in the forest as bait (567 carcasses, about 18,000 kg). This very high prevalence of Trichinella infection, the highest ever detected in a natural population of carnivores, could be explained by carnivore–carnivore transmission, influenced by the hunting practices adopted in the study area.
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