In autumn 2011, 11 illegally imported animals were seized from a farm in southern Norway. These included four raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides), four raccoons (Procyon lotor), and three South American coatis (Nasua nasua), all considered alien species in Norway. An additional two raccoons had escaped from the farm prior to seizure. The seized animals were euthanized and postmortem examination revealed that the four raccoons had moderate to high numbers of the zoonotic nematode Baylisascaris procyonis in their intestines, ranging from 11 to 115 nematodes per small intestine, with a mean of 53. The identity of the nematodes was confirmed using molecular analysis of ITS-1, ITS-2, cytochrome C oxidase 1, and 18S. Echinococcus multilocularis was not detected in any of the 11 animals. Toxocara and Toxascaris sp. eggs were detected in the feces of two raccoons, and two coatis had coccidia oocysts (80 and 360 oocysts per gram). Domestic dogs and other wildlife on the farm had potential access to the animal pens. Given that the eggs can remain infective for years in the environment, local veterinary and health authorities will need to remain vigilant for symptoms relating to infection with B. procyonis.
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Vol. 49 • No. 4