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Maciej Klockiewicz, Tadeusz Jakubowski, Małgorzata Sobczak-Filipiak, Justyna Bartosik and Ewa Długosz

Abstract

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.

Open access

Maciej Klockiewicz, Małgorzata Sobczak-Filipiak, Tadeusz Jakubowski and Ewa Długosz

Abstract

Introduction: Canine roundworm T. canis and T. leonina infections were investigated in experimentally infected farm mink (Neovison vison) to describe the pattern of pathological lesions in this paratenic host. Material and Methods: Infections in mink developed following ingestion of embryonated eggs of either parasite or mice tissue infected with both parasite species. Results: Comparative analysis of haematoxylin- and eosin-stained slides showed essential differences among the experimental groups. The lesions observed included eosinophil and mononuclear inflammatory infiltrates of the intestinal wall and local lymph nodes, inflammation and haemorrhages in liver tissues, and interstitial inflammation and mineralisation of the kidneys and lungs. Larvae migrating through the minks’ bodies also caused particularly salient enlargement of lymphoid follicles in the spleen and inflammatory infiltrates of mononuclear cells in skeletal and heart muscles. Conclusions: It is assumed that histopathological lesions appeared as a local and general host response to invasive L3 T. canis and T. leonina larvae migrating through the tissues of infected farm mink. Interestingly, mink infected with embryonated eggs had more pronounced lesions than animals infected with tissue larvae. Detailed histopathological examinations of parenchymal organs and striated muscles revealed lesions resembling those observed in other paratenic host species due to toxocarosis.