Wild animals, including red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and golden jackals (Canis aureus), are the most important reservoirs of Trichinella spp. Although the red fox is considered one of the main reservoirs of Trichinella spp. in Europe, only a few animals have been examined in Serbia. The present study assessed Trichinella spp. infection in red foxes and golden jackals from the six districts in Serbia. Thirty-seven carcasses of red foxes and 13 carcasses of golden jackals shot during the official hunting season were examined. Larvae of Trichinella spp. were detected in 13 (35%) of 37 red foxes and in 8 (61%) of 13 golden jackals. Trichinella spiralis and Trichinella britovi were the only two species identified after a multiplex polymerase chain reaction analysis. Trichinella britovi infection was detected in 85% of red foxes and in 38% of golden jackals, and T. spiralis was detected in 15% of red foxes and in 63% of golden jackals. The findings emphasize the need for an active surveillance program for Trichinella spp. infection in wildlife in Serbia and the whole of the Balkans, with special attention on the red fox because it is widespread and occurs in high densities.
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