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01.04.2014 | original article | Sonderheft 1/2014

Wiener klinische Wochenschrift 1/2014

Endoparasites of the fallow deer (Dama dama) of the Antheringer Au in Salzburg, Austria

Wiener klinische Wochenschrift > Sonderheft 1/2014
DipEVPC PD DDr. Steffen Rehbein, Martin Visser, Dr. Ilse Jekel, DipEVPC PD Dr. Cornelia Silaghi


Although the annual harvest of fallow deer increased markedly in Austria in the past two decades, only little is known about the parasites of fallow deer in Austria. To add current faunistic knowledge on the endoparasites of fallow deer in the country, viscera from six adult males and one male fawn from the game preserve Antheringer Au, Salzburg, were examined in 2009–2010 using standard techniques, and spleen samples were screened for DNA of tick-borne pathogens (polymerase chain reaction). Infections with sarcocysts (Sarcocystis spp.) and gastrointestinal nematodes (range: 379–1,294 worms) were demonstrated in all deer; four and three bucks had Dictyocaulus eckerti (range: two to seven worms) and Varestrongylus sagittatus lungworms, respectively; Fasciola hepatica (9 and 18 flukes) were isolated from the liver of two bucks, and DNA of Babesia capreoli was isolated from the spleen of one buck. In addition, Eimeria sordida oocysts were identified in the faeces of the fawn that harboured also one Setaria sp., presumably Setaria altaica, in its mesentery. Fifteen species (morphs for the ostertagians) of gastrointestinal nematodes were identified: Ostertagia leptospicularis, Ostertagia drozdzi/Skrjabinagia ryjikovi, Spiculopteragia asymmetrica, Spiculopteragia boehmi/Rinadia mathevossiani, Trichostrongylus askivali, Trichostrongylus capricola, Cooperia pectinata, Nematodirus battus, Nematodirus roscidus, Capillaria bovis, Oesophagostomum sikae, Oesophagostomum venulosum and Trichuris globulosa. Two and four bucks had high individual burdens of more than 500 and more than 1,000 worms, respectively. As the nematode counts of the five bucks harvested during the mating season were associated with unusual high faecal egg counts, and four of the bucks had Dictyocaulus lungworms in addition, these findings may suggest a reduced resistance to parasites related with high levels of androgens and experience of stress during rut.

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