Publications by authors named "Emily J Jenkins"

46 Publications

Evidence of Arctic Fox Survival following Exposure to Rabies Virus.

J Wildl Dis 2021 Nov 23. Epub 2021 Nov 23.

US Department of Agriculture, National Wildlife Research Center, 4101 Laporte Avenue, Fort Collins, Colorado 80521, USA.

The arctic fox variant of the rabies virus (RABV) is enzootic in the circumpolar north. Reports of abortive RABV exposures motivated a retrospective analysis of sera from 41 arctic foxes captured at Karrak Lake in Nunavut, Canada, during 2011-2015. Estimated RABV antibody prevalence among foxes was 14% (95% confidence interval, 7-28%).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7589/JWD-D-21-00071DOI Listing
November 2021

Host and geographic differences in prevalence and diversity of gastrointestinal helminths of foxes (), coyotes () and wolves () in Québec, Canada.

Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl 2021 Dec 8;16:126-137. Epub 2021 Sep 8.

University of Saskatchewan, Department of Veterinary Microbiology, 52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 5B4, Canada.

Wild canids are hosts to a wide range of parasites and can play a role in transmission of zoonoses. As many parasites are transmitted through food webs, and wild canids are at high trophic levels, parasite prevalence and diversity in wild canids can serve as excellent indicators of ecosystem health. Our main objectives were to update knowledge on the composition of gastrointestinal helminths in wild canids from Québec, Canada, and to describe differences in parasite prevalence and diversity among canid species and regions. Hunters and trappers provided whole carcasses of red foxes () (N = 176), and intestinal tracts of coyotes () (N = 77) and gray wolves () (N = 23) harvested for non-research purposes over the winter of 2016-2017. A modified Stoll's centrifugation sucrose flotation on feces of 250 wild canids was used, and eggs of one family and eight genera of parasitic helminths were recovered: diphyllobothriids, spp., spp sp., sp., sp., sp., and sp. Adult spp. cestodes were recovered from 61 of 276 (22%) canids. Six different species (, , , , and -"like") were differentiated based on DNA sequenced from 65 individual adult cestodes using primers for the nicotinamide adenosine dinucleotide dehydrogenase subunit 1 (ND1) and cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (CO1) mitochondrial DNA loci. sp. trematodes infected 89 of 276 canids (32%). A subset were identified as at the CO1 locus. The marine trematode was reported for the first time in foxes in the province of Québec. These results help us understand more fully the predator-prey relationships within this group of canids. This baseline data in regional parasite prevalence and intensity is critical in order to detect future changes following ecological disturbances due to climate and landscape alterations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijppaw.2021.09.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8441108PMC
December 2021

Copro-polymerase chain reaction has higher sensitivity compared to centrifugal fecal flotation in the diagnosis of taeniid cestodes, especially Echinococcus spp, in canids.

Vet Parasitol 2021 Apr 5;292:109400. Epub 2021 Mar 5.

Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Canada.

Prompt and reliable diagnostic tests for taeniid infection in canids are important due to the risk of zoonoses like Echinococcus spp. Current diagnostic methods relying on fecal flotation lack sensitivity and specificity, but this has rarely been quantified due to the challenges in performing adult cestode recovery (the gold standard) in domestic dogs (Canis familiaris). Therefore, we recovered adult Taenia and Echinococcus spp. from intestines, as well as fecal/intestinal material from 484 wild canids trapped for fur in two Canadian provinces (276 foxes - primarily Vulpes vulpes, coyotes - Canis latrans, and wolves - Canis lupus in Québec and 208 coyotes in Saskatchewan). The performances of a newly developed coproPCR for tapeworm DNA detection in dogs, and centrifugal fecal flotation using Sheather's solution, were evaluated against adult cestode recovery. Overall, adult taeniid cestode prevalence (Taenia and/or Echinococcus) was 28 % (95 % CI: 23-33 %) in Québec (62 % (CI: 51-73%) of 74 coyotes, 65 % (CI: 44-82) of 23 wolves, and 11 % (CI: 7-16%) of 179 foxes) and 79 % (CI: 73-84%) of 208 coyotes in Saskatchewan. In Québec, E. canadensis and Taenia spp. were detected in coyotes and wolves, and foxes were only infected with Taenia spp., whereas Saskatchewan coyotes were predominantly infected with E. multilocularis (at significantly higher prevalence, but not intensity, than coyotes in Québec). Compared with centrifugal fecal flotation, the new coproPCR had at least double the sensitivity (58 % vs 23 % in QC coyotes, 57 % vs 23 % in QC wolves, 24 % vs 0% in QC foxes, and 80 % vs 25 % in SK coyotes). Notably, no taeniid eggs were detected on flotations from foxes infected with Taenia spp., and the new coproPCR had highest sensitivity in Saskatchewan coyotes, which were predominantly infected with E. multilocularis. CoproPCR has promising prospects for use in Veterinary clinics and diagnostic laboratories to detect taeniid cestode infections because of its higher sensitivity than faecal flotation methods. This is particularly important for zoonotic Echinococcus spp. where, from a public health perspective, false negatives are a much greater concern than false positives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2021.109400DOI Listing
April 2021

High prevalence, intensity, and genetic diversity of Trichinella spp. in wolverine (Gulo gulo) from Yukon, Canada.

Parasit Vectors 2021 Mar 8;14(1):146. Epub 2021 Mar 8.

Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, 52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 5B4, Canada.

Background: Species of Trichinella are globally important foodborne parasites infecting a number of domestic and wild vertebrates, including humans. Free-ranging carnivores can act as sentinel species for detection of Trichinella spp. Knowledge of the epidemiology of these parasites may help prevent Trichinella spp. infections in northern Canadian animals and people. Previous research on Trichinella spp. in wildlife from Yukon did not identify risk factors associated with infection, or the diversity and identity of species of Trichinella in regional circulation, based on geographically extensive sampling with large sample sizes.

Methods: In a cross-sectional study, we determined the prevalence, infection intensity, risk factors, and species or genotypes of Trichinella in wolverine (Gulo gulo) in two regions of Yukon, Canada, from 2013-2017. A double separatory funnel digestion method followed by mutiplex PCR and PCR-RFLP were used to recover and identify species of Trichinella, respectively.

Results: We found larvae of Trichinella in the tongues of 78% (95% CI 73-82) of 338 wolverine sampled. The odds of adult (≥ 2 years) and yearling (1 year) wolverine being Trichinella spp.-positive were four and two times higher, respectively, compared to juveniles (<1 year). The odds of Trichinella spp. presence were three times higher in wolverine from southeast than northwest Yukon. The mean intensity of infection was 22.6 ± 39 (SD, range 0.1-295) larvae per gram. Trichinella T6 was the predominant genotype (76%), followed by T. nativa (8%); mixed infections with Trichinella T6 and T. nativa (12%) were observed. In addition, T. spiralis was detected in one wolverine. Out of 22 isolates initially identified as T. nativa in multiplex PCR, 14 were analyzed by PCR-RFLP to distinguish them from T. chanchalensis, a recently discovered cryptic species, which cannot be distinguished from the T. nativa on multiplex PCR. Ten isolates were identified either as T. chanchalensis alone (n = 7), or mixed infection with T. chanchalensis and T. nativa (n = 2) or T. chanchalensis and Trichinella T6 (n = 1)].

Conclusions: Wolverine hosted high prevalence, high larval intensity, and multiple species of Trichinella, likely due to their scavenging habits, apex position in the food chain, and wide home range. Wolverine (especially adult males) should be considered as a sentinel species for surveys for Trichinella spp. across their distributional range.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-021-04636-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7938582PMC
March 2021

A repeatable and quantitative DNA metabarcoding assay to characterize mixed strongyle infections in horses.

Int J Parasitol 2021 02 23;51(2-3):183-192. Epub 2020 Nov 23.

Department of Comparative Biology and Experimental Medicine, Host-Parasite Interactions (HPI) Program, University of Calgary, 3280 Hospital Drive, Calgary, AB T2N 4Z6, Canada.

Horses are ubiquitously infected by a diversity of gastro-intestinal parasitic helminths. Of particular importance are nematodes of the family Strongylidae, which can significantly impact horse health and performance. However, knowledge about equine strongyles remains limited due to our inability to identify most species non-invasively using traditional morphological techniques. We developed a new internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) DNA metabarcoding 'nemabiome' assay to characterise mixed strongyle infections in horses and assessed its performance by applying it to pools of infective larvae from fecal samples from an experimental herd in Kentucky, USA and two feral horse populations from Sable Island and Alberta, Canada. In addition to reporting the detection of 33 different species with high confidence, we illustrate the assay's repeatability by comparing results generated from aliquots from the same fecal samples and from individual horses sampled repeatedly over multiple days or months. We also validate the quantitative potential of the assay by demonstrating that the proportion of amplicon reads assigned to different species scales linearly with the number of larvae present. This new tool significantly improves equine strongyle diagnostics, presenting opportunities for research on species-specific anthelmintic resistance and the causes and consequences of variation in mixed infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpara.2020.09.003DOI Listing
February 2021

Parasites of an Arctic scavenger; the wolverine ( ).

Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl 2020 Dec 16;13:178-185. Epub 2020 Oct 16.

School of Biosciences, The Sir Martin Evans Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, UK.

Parasites are fundamental components within all ecosystems, shaping interaction webs, host population dynamics and behaviour. Despite this, baseline data is lacking to understand the parasite ecology of many Arctic species, including the wolverine ( ), a top Arctic predator and scavenger. Here, we combined traditional count methods (i.e. adult helminth recovery, where taxonomy was confirmed by molecular identification) with 18S rRNA high-throughput sequencing to document the wolverine parasite community. Further, we investigated whether the abundance of parasites detected using traditional methods were associated with host metadata, latitude, and longitude (ranging from the northern limit of the boreal forest to the low Arctic and Arctic tundra in Nunavut, Canada). Adult parasites in intestinal contents were identified as in 72% (n = 39) of wolverines and spp. in 22% (n = 12), of which specimens from 2 wolverines were identified as based on COX1 sequence. 18S rRNA high-throughput sequencing on DNA extracted from faeces detected additional parasites, including a pseudophyllid cestode ( spp. or spp.), two metastrongyloid lungworms ( spp. or spp., and spp.), an ascarid nematode ( spp. or spp.), a spp. nematode, and the protozoan spp., though each at a prevalence less than 13% (n = 7). The abundance of significantly decreased with latitude (slope = -0.68; R = 0.17; P = 0.004), suggesting a northerly limit in distribution. We describe and in Canadian wolverines for the first time since 1978, and extend the recorded geographic distribution of these parasites ca 2000 km to the East and into the tundra ecosystem. Our findings illustrate the value of molecular methods in support of traditional methods, encouraging additional work to improve the advancement of molecular screening for parasites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijppaw.2020.10.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7591336PMC
December 2020

Hopping species and borders: detection of Bartonella spp. in avian nest fleas and arctic foxes from Nunavut, Canada.

Parasit Vectors 2020 Sep 14;13(1):469. Epub 2020 Sep 14.

Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, 52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 5B4, Canada.

Background: In a warmer and more globally connected Arctic, vector-borne pathogens of zoonotic importance may be increasing in prevalence in native wildlife. Recently, Bartonella henselae, the causative agent of cat scratch fever, was detected in blood collected from arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) that were captured and released in the large goose colony at Karrak Lake, Nunavut, Canada. This bacterium is generally associated with cats and cat fleas, which are absent from Arctic ecosystems. Arctic foxes in this region feed extensively on migratory geese, their eggs, and their goslings. Thus, we hypothesized that a nest flea, Ceratophyllus vagabundus vagabundus (Boheman, 1865), may serve as a vector for transmission of Bartonella spp.

Methods: We determined the prevalence of Bartonella spp. in (i) nest fleas collected from 5 arctic fox dens and (ii) 37 surrounding goose nests, (iii) fleas collected from 20 geese harvested during arrival at the nesting grounds and (iv) blood clots from 57 adult live-captured arctic foxes. A subsample of fleas were identified morphologically as C. v. vagabundus. Remaining fleas were pooled for each nest, den, or host. DNA was extracted from flea pools and blood clots and analyzed with conventional and real-time polymerase chain reactions targeting the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic transcribed spacer region.

Results: Bartonella henselae was identified in 43% of pooled flea samples from nests and 40% of pooled flea samples from fox dens. Bartonella vinsonii berkhoffii was identified in 30% of pooled flea samples collected from 20 geese. Both B. vinsonii berkhoffii (n = 2) and B. rochalimae (n = 1) were identified in the blood of foxes.

Conclusions: We confirm that B. henselae, B. vinsonii berkhoffii and B. rochalimae circulate in the Karrak Lake ecosystem and that nest fleas contain B. vinsonii and B. henselae DNA, suggesting that this flea may serve as a potential vector for transmission among Arctic wildlife.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-020-04344-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7490881PMC
September 2020

Molecular Evidence for Local Acquisition of Human Alveolar Echinococcosis in Saskatchewan, Canada.

J Infect Dis 2021 Mar;223(6):1015-1018

Department of Veterinary Microbiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.

Alveolar echinococcosis (AE) is a life-threatening parasitic disease caused by the zoonotic cestode Echinococcus multilocularis. Our goals were to confirm infection, identify species, and analyze biogeographical origin of metacestode tissues from a suspected human AE case in Saskatchewan, Canada. We conducted polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting the nad1 mitochondrial gene for E. multilocularis and the rrnS ribosomal RNA gene for E. granulosus and conducted haplotype analysis at the nad2 locus. Our analysis confirmed AE and indicated that sequences matched infected Saskatchewan coyotes and European E3/E4 haplotypes. The patient had no travel history outside North America. This suggests autochthonous transmission of a European-type strain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiaa473DOI Listing
March 2021

Toxocara spp. in dogs and cats in Canada.

Authors:
Emily J Jenkins

Adv Parasitol 2020 5;109:641-653. Epub 2020 Feb 5.

Zoonotic Parasite Research Unit, Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada. Electronic address:

Toxocara spp. (T. canis and T. cati) are the dominant ascarids of domestic dogs and cats, respectively, in populated regions of southern Canada, where they pose animal and public health concerns. A review of the published literature indicated that prevalence of both parasites is declining in more recent studies (post 2000), likely due to changes in animal husbandry as well as use of anthelmintics. Geographically, prevalence was higher in the east (Atlantic), and in more southerly locations, possibly due to more favourable climate conditions for egg survival and development. At northern latitudes and in wild felids and canids in general, the non-zoonotic ascarid Toxascaris leonina appears to outcompete Toxocara spp.; however, T. leonina is rare in domestic cats in Canada. Prevalence of Toxocara spp. was higher in cats than dogs, shelter/rural/remote/feral/stray vs owned animals, and young vs adult animals, as has been observed in many other studies and regions of the world. While the regional prevalences in this review should be interpreted carefully in light of variation in diagnostic methods and study populations, they generally follow the same trends observed in a recent national study of shelter animals. This review is a timely summary of the state of the published knowledge on prevalence of Toxocara spp. in Canada, and highlights knowledge gaps to be addressed, including the northern distributional limits of these species in Canada, the potential for transmission to and from wildlife hosts, and the public health significance of the parasite in the mainstream Canadian population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/bs.apar.2020.01.026DOI Listing
May 2021

Hiding in plain sight: discovery and phylogeography of a cryptic species of Trichinella (Nematoda: Trichinellidae) in wolverine (Gulo gulo).

Int J Parasitol 2020 04 24;50(4):277-287. Epub 2020 Mar 24.

Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, 52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada.

Understanding parasite diversity and distribution is essential in managing the potential impact of parasitic diseases in animals and people. Imperfect diagnostic methods, however, may conceal cryptic species. Here, we report the discovery and phylogeography of a previously unrecognized species of Trichinella in wolverine (Gulo gulo) from northwestern Canada that was indistinguishable from T. nativa using the standard multiplex PCR assay based on the expansion segment 5 (ESV) of ribosomal DNA. The novel genotype, designated as T13, was discovered when sequencing the mitochondrial genome. Phylogenetic analyses of the mitochondrial genome and of 15 concatenated single copy orthologs of nuclear DNA indicated a common ancestor for the encapsulated clade is shared by a subclade containing Trichinella spiralis and Trichinella nelsoni, and a subclade containing T13 and remaining taxa: T12 + (T2 + T6) + [(T5 + T9) + (T3 + T8)]. Of 95 individual hosts from 12 species of mammalian carnivores from northwestern Canada from which larvae were identified as T. nativa on multiplex PCR, only wolverines were infected with T13 (14 of 42 individuals). These infections were single or mixed with T. nativa and/or T6. Visual examination and motility testing confirmed that T13 is encapsulated and likely freeze-tolerant. We developed a new Polymerase Chain Reaction-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism which unequivocally distinguishes between T13 and T. nativa. We propose Trichinella chanchalensis n. sp. for T13, based on significant genetic divergence from other species of Trichinella and broad-based sampling of the Trichinella genome. Exploration of Alaskan and Siberian isolates may contribute to further resolution of a phylogeographically complex history for species of Trichinella across Beringia, including Trichinella chanchalensis n. sp. (T13).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpara.2020.01.003DOI Listing
April 2020

TRANSMISSION DYNAMICS OF IN ARCTIC FOXES (): A LONG-TERM MARK-RECAPTURE SEROLOGIC STUDY AT KARRAK LAKE, NUNAVUT, CANADA.

J Wildl Dis 2019 07 28;55(3):619-626. Epub 2018 Nov 28.

1 Department of Veterinary Microbiology, University of Saskatchewan, 52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5B4, Canada.

Transmission dynamics of , a parasite of importance for wildlife and human health, are enigmatic in the Arctic tundra, where free-ranging wild and domestic felid definitive hosts are absent and rarely observed, respectively. Through a multiyear mark-recapture study (2011-17), serosurveillance was conducted to investigate transmission of in Arctic foxes () in the Karrak Lake region, Nunavut, Canada. Sera from adult foxes and fox pups were tested for antibodies to by using serologic methods, including the indirect fluorescent antibody test, direct agglutination test, and modified agglutination test. The overall seroprevalence was 39% in adults and 17% in pups. Mature foxes were more likely to be exposed (seroconvert) than young foxes (less than 1 yr old), with the highest level of seroprevalence in midaged foxes (2-4 yr old). Pups in two different litters were seropositive on emergence from the den, around 5 wk old, which could have been due to passive transfer of maternal antibody or vertical transmission of from mother to offspring. The seropositive pups were born of seropositive mothers that were also seropositive the year before they gave birth, suggesting that vertical transmission might not be limited to litters from mothers exposed to for the first time in pregnancy. All recaptured seropositive foxes remained seropositive on subsequent captures, suggesting that antibodies persist or foxes are constantly reexposed or a combination of both. The results of this study provided insights into how foxes were likely exposed to , the dynamics of antibody persistence and immune response, and how the parasite was maintained in a terrestrial Arctic ecosystem in the absence of felid definitive hosts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7589/2018-06-144DOI Listing
July 2019

Echinococcus in wild canids in Québec (Canada) and Maine (USA).

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2018 08 20;12(8):e0006712. Epub 2018 Aug 20.

Department of Veterinary Microbiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Zoonotic Echinococcus spp. cestodes (E. canadensis and E. multilocularis) infect domestic animals, wildlife, and people in regions of Canada and the USA. We recovered and quantified Echinococcus spp. cestodes from 22 of 307 intestinal tracts of wild canids (23 wolves, 100 coyotes, 184 red and arctic foxes) in the state of Maine and the province of Québec. We identified the species and genotypes of three Echinococcus spp. cestodes per infected animal by sequencing mitochondrial DNA at two loci. We further confirmed the absence of E. multilocularis by extracting DNA from pools of all cestodes from each animal and running a duplex PCR capable of distinguishing the two species. We detected E. canadensis (G8 and G10), but not E. multilocularis, which is emerging as an important human and animal health concern in adjacent regions. Prevalence and median intensity of E. canadensis was higher in wolves (35%, 460) than coyotes (14%, 358). This parasite has historically been absent in Atlantic regions of North America, where suitable intermediate hosts, but not wolves, are present. Our study suggests that coyotes are serving as sylvatic definitive hosts for E. canadensis in Atlantic regions, and this may facilitate eastward range expansion of E. canadensis in the USA and Canada. As well, compared to wolves, coyotes are more likely to contaminate urban green spaces and peri-urban environments with zoonotic parasites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0006712DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6117095PMC
August 2018

Tongue has higher larval burden of Trichinella spp. than diaphragm in wolverines (Gulo gulo).

Vet Parasitol 2018 Apr 21;253:94-97. Epub 2018 Feb 21.

Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, 52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 5B4, Canada.

Trichinella is an important zoonotic parasite found in a range of wildlife species harvested for food and fur in Canada. We compared larval intensity from tongue and diaphragm, the best predilection sites in other animal species, from naturally infected, wild wolverines (Gulo gulo) (n = 95). Muscle larvae of Trichinella spp. were recovered by the pepsin/HCl artificial digestion method (gold standard) using double separatory funnels, and species were identified using multiplex PCR. Prevalence was 83% (79/95). Of those positive for Trichinella spp. (n = 79), 76 (96.2%) were detected in both tissues, 2 (2.5%) were positive only on diaphragm, and 1 (1.3%) only on tongue. A total of 62 of 79 wolverines (78.5%) had higher larval burden in tongue than in diaphragm, whereas 17 wolverines (21.5%) had higher larval burden in diaphragm. The predilection site (higher larval burden) of Trichinella spp. larvae did not vary significantly between juvenile and adult wolverines (P = 0.2), between male and female wolverines (P = 0.9), and among wolverines classified as having low and high larval intensities overall (P = 0.2). Trichinella T6 was the predominant genotype (63 of 79; 80%), followed by T. nativa (T2) (6 of 79; 8%). Mixed infections of T2 and T6 were observed in 9 of 79 (12%) wolverines. Larval intensity of Trichinella T6 was higher in tongues than diaphragms. No statement can be made for T2 due to insufficient T2 positive samples. In conclusion, tongues are a better site for sampling than diaphragms in future surveys of Trichinella larval intensity in wolverines; however, either tissue is suitable for prevalence studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2018.02.032DOI Listing
April 2018

Pathology, clinical signs, and tissue distribution of in experimentally infected reindeer ().

Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl 2017 Dec 15;6(3):234-240. Epub 2017 Aug 15.

University of Saskatchewan, Department of Veterinary Microbiology, 52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N5B4, Canada.

is a zoonotic parasite found in vertebrates worldwide for which felids serve as definitive hosts. Despite low densities of felids in northern Canada, Inuit people in some regions show unexpectedly high levels of exposure, possibly through handling and consumption of Arctic wildlife. Free-ranging caribou () are widely harvested for food across the Canadian North, show evidence of seroexposure to , and are currently declining in numbers throughout the Arctic. We experimentally infected three captive reindeer (conspecific with caribou) with 1000, 5000 or 10,000 oocysts of via stomach intubation to assess clinical signs of infection, pathology, and tissue distribution. An unexposed reindeer served as a negative control. Signs of stress, aggression, and depression were noted for the first two weeks following infection. By 4 weeks post infection, all infected reindeer were positive on a modified agglutination test at the highest titer tested (1:200) for antibodies to . At 20 weeks post infection, no gross abnormalities were observed on necropsy. Following histopathology and immunohistochemistry, tissue cysts were visualized in the reindeer given the highest and lowest dose of oocysts. Focal pleuritis and alveolitis were associated with respiratory problems in reindeer given the middle dose. DNA of was detected following traditional DNA extraction and conventional PCR on 25 mg samples from 17/33 muscles and organs, and by magnetic capture DNA extraction from 100 g samples from all 26 tissues examined. This research demonstrated that reindeer/caribou can serve as intermediate hosts for , and that the parasite may be associated with health effects in wildlife. The presence of in all tissues tested, many of which are commonly consumed raw, smoked, or dried in northern communities, suggests that caribou may serve as a source of human exposure to .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijppaw.2017.08.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5573777PMC
December 2017

Multi-scale occupancy approach to estimate Toxoplasma gondii prevalence and detection probability in tissues: an application and guide for field sampling.

Int J Parasitol 2016 08 4;46(9):563-70. Epub 2016 May 4.

Department of Veterinary Microbiology, University of Saskatchewan, 52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5B4, Canada.

Increasingly, birds are recognised as important hosts for the ubiquitous parasite Toxoplasma gondii, although little experimental evidence exists to determine which tissues should be tested to maximise the detection probability of T. gondii. Also, Arctic-nesting geese are suspected to be important sources of T. gondii in terrestrial Arctic ecosystems, but the parasite has not previously been reported in the tissues of these geese. Using a domestic goose model, we applied a multi-scale occupancy framework to demonstrate that the probability of detection of T. gondii was highest in the brain (0.689, 95% confidence interval=0.486, 0.839) and the heart (0.809, 95% confidence interval=0.693, 0.888). Inoculated geese had an estimated T. gondii infection probability of 0.849, (95% confidence interval=0.643, 0.946), highlighting uncertainty in the system, even under experimental conditions. Guided by these results, we tested the brains and hearts of wild Ross's Geese (Chen rossii, n=50) and Lesser Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens, n=50) from Karrak Lake, Nunavut, Canada. We detected 51 suspected positive tissue samples from 33 wild geese using real-time PCR with melt-curve analysis. The wild goose prevalence estimates generated by our multi-scale occupancy analysis were higher than the naïve estimates of prevalence, indicating that multiple PCR repetitions on the same organs and testing more than one organ could improve T. gondii detection. Genetic characterisation revealed Type III T. gondii alleles in six wild geese and Sarcocystis spp. in 25 samples. Our study demonstrates that Arctic nesting geese are capable of harbouring T. gondii in their tissues and could transport the parasite from their southern overwintering grounds into the Arctic region. We demonstrate how a multi-scale occupancy framework can be used in a domestic animal model to guide resource-limited sample collection and tissue analysis in wildlife. Secondly, we confirm the value of traditional occupancy in optimising T. gondii detection probability in tissue samples.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpara.2016.04.003DOI Listing
August 2016

Toxoplasmosis and Toxocariasis: An Assessment of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Comorbidity and Health-Care Costs in Canada.

Am J Trop Med Hyg 2016 07 2;95(1):168-74. Epub 2016 May 2.

Department of Veterinary Microbiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.

Toxoplasma gondii and Toxocara spp. are zoonotic parasites with potentially severe long-term consequences for those infected. We estimated incidence and investigated distribution, risk factors, and costs associated with these parasites by examining hospital discharge abstracts submitted to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (2002-2011). Annual incidence of serious toxoplasmosis and toxocariasis was 0.257 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.254-0.260) and 0.010 (95% CI: 0.007-0.014) cases per 100,000 persons, respectively. Median annual health-care costs per serious case of congenital, adult-acquired, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated toxoplasmosis were $1,971, $763, and $5,744, respectively, with an overall cost of C$1,686,860 annually (2015 Canadian dollars). However, the total economic burden of toxoplasmosis is likely much higher than these direct health-care cost estimates. HIV was reported as a comorbidity in 40% of toxoplasmosis cases and accounted for over half of direct health-care costs associated with clinical toxoplasmosis. A One Health approach, integrating physician and veterinary input, is recommended for increasing public awareness and decreasing the economic burden of these preventable zoonoses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.15-0729DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4944684PMC
July 2016

ESTIMATING TOXOPLASMA GONDII EXPOSURE IN ARCTIC FOXES (VULPES LAGOPUS) WHILE NAVIGATING THE IMPERFECT WORLD OF WILDLIFE SEROLOGY.

J Wildl Dis 2016 Jan;52(1):47-56

1  University of Saskatchewan, Department of Veterinary Microbiology, 52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5B4, Canada.

Although the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii is ubiquitous in birds and mammals worldwide, the full suite of hosts and transmission routes is not completely understood, especially in the Arctic. Toxoplasma gondii occurrence in humans and wildlife can be high in Arctic regions, despite apparently limited opportunities for transmission of oocysts shed by felid definitive hosts. Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) are under increasing anthropogenic and ecologic pressure, leading to population declines in parts of their range. Our understanding of T. gondii occurrence in arctic foxes is limited to only a few regions, but mortality events caused by this parasite have been reported. We investigated the exposure of arctic foxes to T. gondii in the Karrak Lake goose colony, Queen Maud Gulf Migratory Bird Sanctuary, Nunavut, Canada. Following an occupancy-modeling framework, we performed replicated antibody testing on serum samples by direct agglutination test (DAT), indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT), and an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) that can be used in multiple mammalian host species. As a metric of test performance, we then estimated the probability of detecting T. gondii antibodies for each of the tests. Occupancy estimates for T. gondii antibodies in arctic foxes under this framework were between 0.430 and 0.758. Detection probability was highest for IFAT (0.716) and lower for DAT (0.611) and ELISA (0.464), indicating that the test of choice for antibody detection in arctic foxes might be the IFAT. We document a new geographic record of T. gondii exposure in arctic foxes and demonstrate an emerging application of ecologic modeling techniques to account for imperfect performance of diagnostic tests in wildlife species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7589/2015-03-075DOI Listing
January 2016

Parasite control in Canadian companion animal shelters and a cost-comparison of anthelmintics.

Can Vet J 2015 Sep;56(9):964-70

Department of Veterinary Microbiology (Schurer, McKenzie, Bouchard, Jenkins), Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences (Dowling), University of Saskatchewan, 52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5B4.

Animal shelters have limited resources and must accommodate large numbers of animals at unpredictable intake rates. These dogs and cats are often parasitized, which can adversely affect the health of animals and expose shelter workers and adoptive owners to zoonoses. We analyzed survey responses from rural (n = 32) and urban (n = 50) companion animal shelters across Canada, and compared the wholesale cost of commercially available anthelmintics to identify cost-effective methods of managing parasites within shelters. Almost all shelters employed nematocides (98% to 99%), but cestocides and ectoparasiticides were used less frequently. Shelters identified cost as an important consideration in choosing to perform fecal diagnostic testing and administer anthelmintics, and this motivated many shelters to selectively perform testing (66%) or never to test (32%), and to use drugs extralabel (80%).
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4535514PMC
September 2015

Who Let the Dogs Out? Communicating First Nations Perspectives on a Canine Veterinary Intervention Through Digital Storytelling.

Ecohealth 2015 Dec 25;12(4):592-601. Epub 2015 Aug 25.

Department of Veterinary Microbiology, University of Saskatchewan, 52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, S7H 5B4, SK, Canada.

Dog-related human injuries affect public safety and animal welfare, and occur more frequently in rural, remote, and Indigenous communities than in urban centres in Canada. Little work has been done to identify the perspectives of those people most heavily affected by this issue or to report successful dog management programs. This project was undertaken by veterinarians and public health workers with the goal of documenting First Nations perspectives on dogs, and educating other rural health workers about introducing animal management services to Indigenous communities. We recruited 10-14 residents and healthcare workers from three First Nations to take dog-related photos in their communities and participate in group interviews during the summer of 2014. Audiovisual data were synthesised into four digital stories exploring the following aspects of participant relationships with community dogs: (1) Spay/neuter clinics; (2) Role of the dog (past and present); (3) Human-animal bond; and (4) Healthy dogs as a part of healthy communities. These videos document changes in dog husbandry behaviour, new acceptance of spay/neuter, three-way knowledge transfer between residents, researchers, and policy makers, and an overall desire to sustain the positive outcomes of the pilot dog management project. This work highlights cultural beliefs and success strategies that might guide other programs providing veterinary services in First Nations communities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10393-015-1055-yDOI Listing
December 2015

Echinococcosis: An Economic Evaluation of a Veterinary Public Health Intervention in Rural Canada.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2015 2;9(7):e0003883. Epub 2015 Jul 2.

Department of Veterinary Microbiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Echinococcosis is a rare but endemic condition in people in Canada, caused by a zoonotic cestode for which the source of human infection is ingestion of parasite eggs shed by canids. The objectives of this study were to identify risk factors associated with infection and to measure the cost-utility of introducing an echinococcosis prevention program in a rural area. We analyzed human case reports submitted to the Canadian Institutes for Health Information between 2002 and 2011. Over this 10 year period, there were 48 cases associated with E. granulosus/E. canadensis, 16 with E. multilocularis, and 251 cases of echinococcosis for which species was not identified (total 315 cases). Nationally, annual incidence of echinococcosis was 0.14 cases per 100,000 people, which is likely an underestimate due to under-diagnosis and under-reporting. Risk factors for echinococcosis included female gender, age (>65 years), and residing in one of the northern territories (Nunavut, Yukon, or Northwest Territories). The average cost of treating a case of cystic echinococcosis in Canada was $8,842 CAD. Cost-utility analysis revealed that dosing dogs with praziquantel (a cestocide) at six week intervals to control cystic echinococcosis is not currently cost-effective at a threshold of $20,000-100,000 per Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY) gained, even in a health region with the highest incidence rate in Canada ($666,978-755,051 per QALY gained). However, threshold analysis demonstrated that the program may become cost-saving at an echinococcosis incidence of 13-85 cases per 100,000 people and therefore, even one additional CE case in a community of 9000 people could result in the monetary benefits of the program outweighing costs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0003883DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4489623PMC
May 2016

Response to Nakao et al. - is Echinococcus intermedius a valid species?

Trends Parasitol 2015 Aug 19;31(8):343-4. Epub 2015 Jun 19.

School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA, Australia. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pt.2015.05.005DOI Listing
August 2015

Climate Change in the North American Arctic: A One Health Perspective.

Ecohealth 2015 Dec 13;12(4):713-25. Epub 2015 Jun 13.

Arctic Investigations Program, Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Anchorage, AK, 99508, USA.

Climate change is expected to increase the prevalence of acute and chronic diseases among human and animal populations within the Arctic and subarctic latitudes of North America. Warmer temperatures are expected to increase disease risks from food-borne pathogens, water-borne diseases, and vector-borne zoonoses in human and animal populations of Arctic landscapes. Existing high levels of mercury and persistent organic pollutant chemicals circulating within terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in Arctic latitudes are a major concern for the reproductive health of humans and other mammals, and climate warming will accelerate the mobilization and biological amplification of toxic environmental contaminants. The adverse health impacts of Arctic warming will be especially important for wildlife populations and indigenous peoples dependent upon subsistence food resources from wild plants and animals. Additional research is needed to identify and monitor changes in the prevalence of zoonotic pathogens in humans, domestic dogs, and wildlife species of critical subsistence, cultural, and economic importance to Arctic peoples. The long-term effects of climate warming in the Arctic cannot be adequately predicted or mitigated without a comprehensive understanding of the interactive and synergistic effects between environmental contaminants and pathogens in the health of wildlife and human communities in Arctic ecosystems. The complexity and magnitude of the documented impacts of climate change on Arctic ecosystems, and the intimacy of connections between their human and wildlife communities, makes this region an appropriate area for development of One Health approaches to identify and mitigate the effects of climate warming at the community, ecosystem, and landscape scales.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10393-015-1036-1DOI Listing
December 2015

Introduced and Native Haplotypes of Echinococcus multilocularis in Wildlife in Saskatchewan, Canada.

J Wildl Dis 2015 Jul 28;51(3):743-8. Epub 2015 May 28.

1  Department of Veterinary Microbiology, 52 Campus Drive, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada S7N 5B4.

Recent detection of a European-type haplotype of the cestode Echinococcus multilocularis in a newly enzootic region in British Columbia prompted efforts to determine if this haplotype was present elsewhere in wildlife in western Canada. In coyote (Canis latrans) definitive hosts in an urban region in central Saskatchewan (SK), we found a single haplotype of E. multilocularis that was most similar to a haplotype currently established in the core of this parasite's distribution in Europe and to the European-type haplotype found in coyotes and a dog (Canis lupus familiaris) in British Columbia. We found six haplotypes of E. multilocularis from deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) intermediate hosts in southwestern SK that were closely related to, and one haplotype indistinguishable from, a haplotype previously reported in the adjacent north-central US. This is a higher level of diversity than has previously been recognized for this parasite, which suggests that the population native to central North America is well established, rather than a recent introduction from the Arctic. These findings, in combination with recent cases of alveolar hydatid cysts in dogs in Canada, raise concerns that European haplotypes of E. multilocularis may be increasing in distribution within wildlife in Canada. European haplotypes may pose greater risks to veterinary and human health than native haplotypes long established in central North America.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7589/2014-08-214DOI Listing
July 2015

Wildlife parasites in a One Health world.

Trends Parasitol 2015 May 3;31(5):174-80. Epub 2015 Feb 3.

Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, 52 Campus Drive, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon S7H 5B4, SK, Canada.

One Health has gained a remarkable profile in the animal and public health communities, in part owing to the pressing issues of emerging infectious diseases of wildlife origin. Wildlife parasitology can offer insights into One Health, and likewise One Health can provide justification to study and act on wildlife parasites. But how do we decide which wildlife parasites are One Health issues? We explore toxoplasmosis in wildlife in the Canadian Arctic as an example of a parasite that poses a risk to human health, and that also has potential to adversely affect wildlife populations of conservation concern and importance for food security and cultural well-being. This One Health framework can help communities, researchers, and policymakers prioritize issues for action in a resource-limited world.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pt.2015.01.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7106350PMC
May 2015

Vector-borne pathogens in arctic foxes, Vulpes lagopus, from Canada.

Res Vet Sci 2015 Apr 16;99:58-9. Epub 2014 Dec 16.

Intracellular Pathogens Research Laboratory (IPRL), Center for Comparative Medicine and Translational Research College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, NC, USA. Electronic address:

Because of the relatively low biodiversity within arctic ecosystems, arctic foxes, Vulpes lagopus, could serve as sentinels for the study of changes in the ecology of vector-borne zoonotic pathogens. The objective of this study was to determine the molecular prevalence of 5 different genera of vector borne pathogens (Anaplasma, Babesia, Bartonella, Ehrlichia, and Hemotropic Mycoplasma spp.) using blood collected from 28 live-trapped arctic foxes from the region of Karrak Lake, Nunavut, Canada. Bartonella henselae (n = 3), Mycoplasma haemocanis (n = 1), Ehrlichia canis (n = 1), and an Anaplasma sp. (n = 1) DNA were PCR amplified and subsequently identified by sequencing. This study provides preliminary evidence that vector borne pathogens, not typically associated with the arctic ecosystem, exist at low levels in this arctic fox population, and that vector exposure, pathogen transmission dynamics, and changes in the geographic distribution of pathogens over time should be investigated in future studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2014.12.011DOI Listing
April 2015

Rural origin, age, and endoparasite fecal prevalence in dogs surrendered to the Regina Humane Society, 2013.

Can Vet J 2014 Dec;55(12):1192-5

Department of Veterinary Microbiology, University of Saskatchewan, 52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5B4 (Schurer, Davenport, Wagner, Jenkins); Regina Humane Society, Hwy #6 and Armour Rd, Box 3143, Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 3G7 (Hamblin).

We report the results of fecal parasite surveillance in dogs surrendered to the Regina Humane Society, Saskatchewan, Canada, between May and November 2013. Overall, 23% of 231 dogs were infected with at least 1 intestinal parasite. Endoparasite infection was positively associated with rural origin (P = 0.002) and age (< 12 months; P < 0.001).
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4231810PMC
December 2014

Echinococcus canadensis, E. borealis, and E. intermedius. What's in a name?

Trends Parasitol 2015 Jan 29;31(1):23-9. Epub 2014 Nov 29.

School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA, Australia. Electronic address:

The phylogenetic relationships of the G6, G7, G8, and G10 genotypes of Echinococcus granulosus are well defined, but their taxonomic status is currently unresolved. We apply an evolutionary species concept to infer that the G6 and G7 genotypes represent a single species that is different to both the G8 and G10 genotypes, and that the G8 and G10 genotypes are also on different evolutionary trajectories and, therefore, should be regarded as separate species. The names Echinococcus intermedius, Echinococcus canadensis, and Echinococcus borealis have been previously proposed for these three taxa (G6/7, G10 and G8, respectively) and we argue that it may be appropriate to resurrect these names. The correct delimitation and formal recognition of species of Echinococcus may have important veterinary and public health consequences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pt.2014.11.003DOI Listing
January 2015

Toxoplasma gondii exposure in arctic-nesting geese: A multi-state occupancy framework and comparison of serological assays.

Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl 2014 Aug 30;3(2):147-53. Epub 2014 Jun 30.

Department of Veterinary Microbiology, University of Saskatchewan, 52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N5B4, Canada.

The zoonotic parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, has a worldwide distribution and a cosmopolitan suite of hosts. In arctic tundra regions, the definitive felid hosts are rare to absent and, while the complete transmission routes in such regions have yet to be fully elucidated, trophic and vertical routes are likely to be important. Wild birds are common intermediate hosts of T. gondii, and in the central Canadian arctic, geese are probable vectors of the parasite from temperate latitudes to the arctic regions. Our objective was to estimate seroprevalence of T. gondii in Ross's and Lesser Snow Geese from the Karrak Lake ecosystem in Nunavut, Canada. After harvesting geese by shotgun, we collected blood on filter paper strips and tested the eluate for T. gondii antibodies by indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) and direct agglutination test (DAT). We estimated seroprevalence using a multi-state occupancy model, which reduced bias by accounting for imperfect detection, and compared these estimates to a naïve estimator. Ross's Geese had a 0.39 probability of seropositivity, while for Lesser Snow Geese the probability of positive for T. gondii antibodies was 0.36. IFAT had a higher antibody detection probability than DAT, but IFAT also had a higher probability of yielding ambiguous or unclassifiable results. The results of this study indicate that Ross's Geese and Lesser Snow Geese migrating to the Karrak Lake region of Nunavut are routinely exposed to T. gondii at some point in their lives and that they are likely intermediate hosts of the parasite. Also, we were able to enhance our estimation of T. gondii seroprevalence by using an occupancy approach that accounted for both false-negative and false-positive detections and by using multiple diagnostic tests in the absence of a gold standard serological assay for wild geese.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijppaw.2014.05.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4142267PMC
August 2014

Unexpected diversity of the cestode Echinococcus multilocularis in wildlife in Canada.

Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl 2014 Aug 3;3(2):81-7. Epub 2014 Apr 3.

Department of Veterinary Microbiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada.

Echinococcus multilocularis is a zoonotic cestode with a distribution encompassing the northern hemisphere that causes alveolar hydatid disease in people and other aberrant hosts. E. multilocularis is not genetically uniform across its distribution, which may have implications for zoonotic transmission and pathogenicity. Recent findings of a European-type haplotype of E. multilocularis in wildlife in one location in western Canada motivated a broader survey of the diversity of this parasite in wildlife from northern and western Canada. We obtained intact adult cestodes of E. multilocularis from the intestines of 41 wild canids (wolf - Canis lupus, coyote - Canis latrans, and red fox - Vulpes vulpes), taeniid eggs from 28 fecal samples from Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus), and alveolar hydatid cysts from 39 potential rodent intermediate hosts. Upon sequencing a 370-nucelotide region of the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1 (nad1) mitochondrial locus, 17 new haplotypes were identified. This constitutes a much higher diversity than expected, as only two genotypes (European and an Asian/North American) had previously been identified using this locus. The European-type strain, recently introduced, may be widespread in wildlife within western Canada, possibly related to the large home ranges and wide dispersal range of wild canids. This study increased understanding of the biogeographic distribution, prevalence and genetic differences of a globally important pathogenic cestode in northern and western Canada.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijppaw.2014.03.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4142260PMC
August 2014

People, pets, and parasites: one health surveillance in southeastern Saskatchewan.

Am J Trop Med Hyg 2014 Jun 17;90(6):1184-90. Epub 2014 Mar 17.

Department of Veterinary Microbiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada; National Reference Centre for Parasitology, Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center, Montreal General Hospital, Montreal, Canada.

Residents of remote and Indigenous communities might experience higher exposure to some zoonotic parasites than the general North American population. Human sero-surveillance conducted in two Saulteaux communities found 113 volunteers exposed as follows: Trichinella (2.7%), Toxocara canis (4.4%), Echinococcus (4.4%), and Toxoplasma gondii (1.8%). In dogs, 41% of 51 fecal samples were positive for at least one intestinal parasite, 3% of 77 were sero-positive for Borrelia burgdorferi, and 21% of 78 for T. gondii. Echinococcus exposure was more likely to occur in non-dog owners (odds ratio [OR]: 11.4, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.2-107, P = 0.03); while T. canis was more likely to occur in children (ages 4-17) (OR: 49, 95% CI: 3.9-624; P = 0.003), and those with a history of dog bites (OR: 13.5, 95% CI: 1.02-179; P = 0.048). Our results emphasize the use of dogs as sentinels for emerging pathogens such as Lyme disease, and the need for targeted surveillance and intervention programs tailored for parasite species, cultural groups, and communities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.13-0749DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4047752PMC
June 2014
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