Estimates of the distribution and prevalence of the sinus roundworm (Skrjabingylus chitwoodorum) have been based largely on the inspection of skunk (Mephitidae) skulls showing damage from infections. We examined 595 striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) and nine hog-nosed skunks (Conepatus leuconotus) that had tested negative for rabies by the Texas Department of State Health Services (US) between November 2010 and April 2015 to determine species of Skrjabingylus, prevalence and intensity of infection, and distribution of infection in Texas by county. We expected ecoregions with more precipitation to have higher rates of infection than more-arid ecoregions. Prevalence of S. chitwoodorum in striped skunks was 48.7%, with a mean intensity of 19.4 (SD=24.44, range=1–181) nematodes. There was a bias for the left sinus. The prevalence of infection varied among ecoregions of Texas, but it was not correlated with precipitation. Infection intensity did not vary among ecoregions. The prevalence of sinus roundworms in rabies-negative skunks suggested that behavioral changes because of skrjabingylosis might have been responsible for the submission by the public of some skunks for rabies testing.
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Vol. 54 • No. 1