A parasitologic study on 129 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from Tuscany (central Italy) was carried out in 2004–2006. Five intestinal species were found at necropsy: Dipylidium caninum (prevalence 57.3%), Mesocestoides lineatus (45.4%), Uncinaria stenocephala (39.1%), Toxocara canis (9.1%), and Toxascaris leonina (5.4%). Other parasites not associated with the intestine included Crenosoma vulpis (14.7%), Capillaria aerophila (7.0%), Angiostrongylus vasorum (7.0%), and filarial parasites (17.8%). Coprologic tests were less sensitive and less specific in identifying parasites than direct examinations at necropsy. Trichinella larvae were not found in muscles submitted to artificial digestion. By immunologic assay, antigens of Echinococcus spp. were detected in fecal samples of 20 foxes, but results could not be confirmed by fecal examination or molecular tests.
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Vol. 45 • No. 3