We used participatory epidemiology (PE) in remote areas to understand the observed distribution and prevalence of infestation by sarcoptic mange mites (Sarcoptes scabiei) on wild Formosan serow (Capricornis swinhoei) in Taiwan. A semistructured interview protocol was used for 37 interviews during June–December 2008. Serow with skin lesions consistent with sarcoptic mange were reported within a latitudinal range of approximately 24°00′N to 22°40′N on the Central Mountain Range of Taiwan. The observed prevalence was 40–80% in seven of the 19 interview districts. Clinical signs were observed mainly on serow at elevations >1,000 m and most commonly winter (December–February). Sarcoptes scabiei has been observed in the infestation area for at least 80 yr. No other wildlife species with similar skin lesions were reported except wild boar. Sarcoptic mange mites on Taiwan serow might prefer a low-temperature environment, but other factors such as physiologic differences among serow populations might be involved in the determination of the northern boundary of the enzootic range. The use of PE to collect enzootic information on sarcoptic mange in wild serow was effective and rapid.
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Vol. 48 • No. 4