Documenting the occurrence of Parelaphostrongylus odocoilei has historically relied on the morphological examination of adult worms collected from the skeletal muscle of definitive hosts, including deer. Recent advances in the knowledge of protostrongylid genetic sequences now permit larvae to be identified. Dorsal-spined larvae (DSLs) collected in 2003–2004 from the lung and feces of six Columbian black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) from Oregon were characterized genetically. The sequences from unknown DSLs were compared to those from morphologically validated adults and larvae of P. odocoilei at both the second internal transcribed spacer (ITS-2) of ribosomal DNA and the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase II gene. We provide the first unequivocal identification of P. odocoilei in Columbian black-tailed deer from Oregon. The broader geographic distribution, prevalence, and pathology of P. odocoilei are not known in populations of Oregon deer.
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Vol. 42 • No. 3