Abomasa of 185 chamois shot during 5 consecutive hunting seasons were collected as part of a health monitoring program in an alpine area of Italy and examined for nematodes. The data were obtained during both the preceding period and that following a severe die-off caused by a pneumonia outbreak. Prevalence, mean abundance, mean intensity, and Thul Importance index were consistently high, in particular for Haemonchus contortus, having a low host specificity and high pathogenic potential. Species typical of cervids were also consistently detected. The abomasal nematode community showed an isolationist structure, suggesting its composition was primarily determined by external factors such as interspecific interaction among host species and environmental conditions. The effect of different factors (host sex, sampling site, and time) on nematode counts and aggregation were analyzed and discussed considering the peculiarities of the study site and the chamois population crash. In the light of parallel results for health monitoring, abomasal parasitism could represent a predisposing factor for the observed die-off.
ABOMASAL NEMATODE COMMUNITY IN AN ALPINE CHAMOIS (RUPICAPRA R. RUPICAPRA) POPULATION BEFORE AND AFTER A DIE-OFF
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Carlo V. Citterio, Chiara Caslini, Franco Milani, Marcello Sala, Nicola Ferrari, Paolo Lanfranchi; ABOMASAL NEMATODE COMMUNITY IN AN ALPINE CHAMOIS (RUPICAPRA R. RUPICAPRA) POPULATION BEFORE AND AFTER A DIE-OFF. J Parasitol 1 October 2006; 92 (5): 918–927. doi: https://doi.org/10.1645/GE-3551.1
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