Raccoons (n=590) were collected from October 1999 to August 2003 from 35 counties across Texas, USA, and gastrointestinal tracts were examined for Baylisascaris procyonis. We documented B. procyonis in central and eastern Texas. Baylisascaris procyonis occurred in 5.4% raccoons in Texas with an overall mean abundance and mean intensity of 0.4±0.1 and 7.4±2.3, respectively. Prevalence was higher in central Texas ecoregions and on clayey soil texture than other regions or soil textures of Texas. Mean parasite abundance was highest in the Postoak Savanna ecoregion located in central Texas. Our findings expanded the range of B. procyonis in Texas and confirmed that areas of Texas with clayey soil texture are more vulnerable to B. procyonis transmission. This study gives a better understanding of where B. procyonis may occur in Texas and which environmental characteristics are better suited for B. procyonis occurrence and transmission, especially in areas where likelihood of frequent human contact with raccoons and their feces increases.
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Vol. 46 • No. 3