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1 April 2016 OCCURRENCE OF LUNGWORMS IN EUROPEAN WILDCATS (FELIS SILVESTRIS SILVESTRIS) OF CENTRAL ITALY
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Abstract

The increasing focus on infections in domestic cats (Felis catus) has raised questions about lungworm distribution in wild hosts. To enhance knowledge of the occurrence of lungworms in enzootic regions of central Italy, we examined the carcasses of 16 European wildcats (Felis silvestris silvestris). Adult nematodes, feces, respiratory flushings, and pulmonary tissues were collected at necropsy and then microscopically and genetically analyzed. Fourteen wildcats had single or mixed lungworm species. Aelurostrongylus abstrusus was the most common parasite retrieved, followed by Troglostrongylus brevior. In addition, three specimens of Angiostrongylus chabaudi were found in the pulmonary arteries of one wildcat. Histologically, the most common lesions were a mild-to-severe chronic catarrhal bronchitis and a chronic interstitial pneumonia with smooth muscle hypertrophy, associated with T. brevior and A. abstrusus, respectively. These results demonstrate that the European wildcats may harbor several species of lungworms that may impair their health and welfare. Also, F. s. silvestris is a potential reservoir for respiratory nematodes in domestic cats.

Fabrizia Veronesi, Donato Traversa, Elvio Lepri, Giulia Morganti, Francesca Vercillo, Dorian Grelli, Rudi Cassini, Marianna Marangi, Raffaella Iorio, Bernardino Ragni, and Angela Di Cesare "OCCURRENCE OF LUNGWORMS IN EUROPEAN WILDCATS (FELIS SILVESTRIS SILVESTRIS) OF CENTRAL ITALY," Journal of Wildlife Diseases 52(2), 270-278, (1 April 2016). https://doi.org/10.7589/2015-07-187
Received: 17 July 2015; Accepted: 1 August 2015; Published: 1 April 2016
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