Tissues and serum from 59 raccoons (Procyon lotor), 42 coyotes (Canis latrans), and seven Striped Skunks (Mephitis mephitis) collected in Dane and Iowa Counties, Wisconsin, USA, between October 2005 and March 2006 were microscopically and serologically examined for the presence of Trichinella spp. Encapsulated larvae were found on compression slides prepared from tongue tissues from a few animals. Complete tissue digestion of tongues revealed that 19% of the raccoons, 26% of the coyotes, and none of the seven skunks tested were infected with Trichinella spp. Cats were subsequently experimentally infected by feeding them the raccoon tissues containing muscle larvae, and muscle larvae isolated from the collected tongues were experimentally transmitted to mice. Multiplex polymerase chain reaction analysis of the isolated muscle larvae demonstrated two distinct bands migrating at 127 base pairs (bp) and 316 bp in all samples, which together are diagnostic for Trichinella murrelli; the isolates were assigned Istituto Superiore di Sanita (ISS) codes ISS1656 through ISS1667, and ISS1708 through ISS1710 by the International Trichinella Reference Centre. These findings extend the geographic range of T. murrelli into Wisconsin, USA.
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Vol. 44 • No. 3