Raccoon (Procyon lotor) carcasses (n=118) were collected from July through December 2007 throughout eastern Tennessee. Necropsies were performed, and Baylisascaris procyonis was collected from the gastrointestinal tract of infected carcasses. Prevalence rates were determined for the overall sample population, males and females, and adults and juveniles. The sample population had a B. procyonis prevalence of 12.7%. Males and females had a prevalence of 15% and 11%, respectively; prevalence in adults and juvenile was 13% and 12.6%, respectively. There were no significant differences in prevalence rates between the different groups. Baylisascaris procyonis is an ascarid infection of raccoons that can infect humans and over 100 species of other animals. The presence of infection in raccoons, paired with the expansion of human populations in eastern Tennessee, is likely to lead to increased interactions between humans and raccoons and therefore an increased risk of human and domestic animal exposure to B. procyonis.
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Vol. 45 • No. 4