Experimental infection with T. canis and T. leonina in farm mink (Neovison vison)

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Introduction: Farm mink (Neovison vison) can be naturally exposed to T. canis and T. leonina pathogens on the farm. If mink were hosts, it would imply some veterinary public health as well as animal welfare issues. For this reason, the aim of the study was to determine whether mink might be definitive or paratenic hosts of these parasites. Material and Methods: Four groups of mink were infected with both parasite species using larvated eggs or feed containing mouse tissue previously infected with the parasites. Following inoculation, the infections were monitored in vivo by faecal examination for 14 weeks p.i., and then western blotting and ELISA were performed. Results: Coprology did not reveal any canine roundworm eggs, neither were nematodes found in mink intestines during post mortem examination. The specific IgG antibodies recognising excretory/secretory (ES) antigens of both parasite species were identified in mink sera. Single T. leonina tissue larvae were found in digested organs. Conclusions: Our results confirm that farm mink may contribute both T. canis and T. leonina infections. It was proved that farm mink were not their definitive hosts, and therefore mink faeces need not be considered a source of canine roundworm eggs in any soil it fertilises. Nonetheless, as farm mink may be a paratenic host for both parasite species, this may have some impact on the health and welfare of infected animals.

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Journal of Veterinary Research

formerly Bulletin of the Veterinary Institute in Pulawy

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