Abstract:

We sampled 339 fecal samples, 296 intestines, and 82 lungs from 371 lynx hunted during the 2010–2011 season in Finland. The fecal samples were analyzed for endoparasites by a quantitative flotation method, and helminths from intestines were studied morphologically, while lungs were investigated for pulmonary parasites. From fecal samples, eggs and oocysts of at least 6 different endoparasite species were identified, with a mean of 1.5 (range 0–4) parasite species per host. In the intestines, at least 4 different helminth species were found, with the mean of 2.0 (range 1–4) species per infected host. The prevalence of eggs in feces and the prevalence of worms in intestines were 71% and 93% for Toxocara cati, 29% and 68% for Taenia spp., and 5% and 2% for Diphyllobothrium sp., respectively. Only eggs were detected for Capillaria sp. (46%) and Uncinaria sp. (0.6%) nematodes, and only adults were detected for Mesocestoides sp. cestodes (0.3%). Significant positive correlations were evident between the number of T. cati (r = 0.664; P = 0.01) and Diphyllobothrium sp. (r = 0.645; P = 0.01) eggs per gram of feces and adult worms detected in intestine. In addition to the metazoan parasites, protozoan Isospora sp. oocysts were also found (0.6%). Pulmonary samples were all negative for parasites. These data demonstrate that lynx commonly harbor various endoparasites, some of which are zoonotic.

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