Abstract

Echinococcus multilocularis was identified in a coyote in Indiana in January 1990, prompting an investigation of the distribution and prevalence of the parasite in wild canids in Indiana and surrounding states. In 1990–1991, the parasite was found throughout northern and central Indiana, in northwestern Ohio, and in east-central Illinois. In 1993–1994, 162 wild canids (97 red foxes, 54 coyotes, 11 gray foxes) were collected from Michigan, and an additional 75 (55 red foxes, 7 coyotes, 13 gray foxes) from Ohio, and examined for this parasite. Of these, 15 wild canids (6.3%) were found to be infected with E. multilocularis, including 4 of 97 (4.1%) red foxes from Michigan and 9 of 55 (16.4%) red foxes and 2 of 7 (28.6%) coyotes from Ohio. In Michigan, all infected animals were from the central and southwestern parts of the state. No infected animals were found in northern Michigan, including the Upper Peninsula. In Ohio, infected animals were limited to the northwestern and west-central portions of the state. These findings constitute new state and distribution records for E. multilocularis in the midwestern United States and indicate that the parasite continues to spread eastward and into Michigan from the south.

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