Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Abomasal Parasites of Wild Sympatric Cervids in Central Spain

Authors
item Santin-Duran, M - MADRID SPAIN
item Alunda, J - MADRID SPAIN
item Hoberg, Eric
item DE La Fuente, C - MADRID SPAIN

Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 12, 2004
Publication Date: January 18, 2005
Citation: Santin-Duran, M., Alunda, J.M., Hoberg, E.P., De La Fuente, C. 2005. Abomasal parasites of wild sympatric cervids in central Spain. Journal of Parasitology. 90:1378-1386.

Interpretive Summary: Defining patterns of parasite biodiversity are the foundation for elucidating the ecological structure and transmission dynamics for nematode faunas in ruminants. Understanding species diversity and the determinants for host association and the limiting factors for geographic distribution are components for a predictive framework to (1.) recognize complex interactions at the interface of managed and wild ecosystems; (2.) the influence of management practices; and (3.) the impact of global change (both anthropogenic and climatological). Parasite biodiversity studies that involve intensive sampling also provide substantial baselines for incorporation into long term monitoring of host-parasite assemblages. Biodiversity survey and inventory for abomasal nematodes in 81 red deer and 16 fallow deer was conducted at 3 sites at Quinto de Mora, Maluenez de Arriba, and La Herguijuela in Central Spain. Commonly occurring helminths belonged to 3 polymorphic species of the Ostertagiinae: Spiculopteragia asymmetrica/S. quadrispiculata, Ostertagia leptospicularis/ O. kolchida and O. drozdzi/O. ryjikovi; Trichostrongylus axei was found in very few cases. Ostertagia drozdzi/O. ryjikovi and the minor male morphotype S. quadrispiculata are reported for the first time in red deer from Spain. The 3 ostertagiine species are also reported for the first time in fallow deer from Spain. These three species of Ostertagiinae are primarily parasites among cervids, and those nematode species characteristic in domestic ruminants were not observed. Prevalence of infection by gastrointestinal parasites in cervids was consistently high, ranging from 97.5%-100%, across the 3 areas sampled. Mean intensity of infection and abundance showed a positive relationship to the population density of red deer. Helminth burdens were higher in fallow deer than in the sympatric red deer and may reflect the gregarious social structure and different foraging patterns by Dama dama. These data provide an important contemporary baseline for parasite biodiversity in red deer, and provide the context for understanding the influence of ecological perturbation linked to changing land-use practices and a dynamic environmental setting. Significantly, demonstration of a positive correlation between host population density and parasite abundance supports theoretical predictions from host population density and parasite abundance supports theoretical predictions from parasite population biology. Studies from Spain represent a substantial contribution to development of general concepts about the drivers and limitations on the distribution and influence of parasites in ruminant populations.

Technical Abstract: A survey of abomasal parasites in cervids from Central Spain was conducted at 3 sites, Quintos de Mora (Toledo), Maluéñez de Arriba (Cáceres) and La Herguijuela (Cáceres). Commonly occurring helminths belonged to 3 polymorphic species of the Ostertagiinae: Spiculopteragia asymmetrica/S. quadrispiculata, Ostertagia leptospicularis/ O. kolchida and O. drozdzi/O. ryjikovi; Trichostrongylus axei was found in very few cases. Ostertagia drozdzi/O. ryjikovi and the minor male morphotype S. quadrispiculata are reported for the first time in red deer from Spain. The 3 ostertagiine species are also reported for the first time in fallow deer from Spain. These three species of Ostertagiinae are primarily parasites among cervids, and those nematode species characteristic in domestic ruminants were not observed. Prevalence of infection by gastrointestinal parasites in cervids was high, ranging from 97.5%-100%, across the 3 areas sampled. Mean intensity of infection and abundance showed a positive relationship to the population density of red deer. Helminth burdens were higher in fallow deer than in the sympatric red deer and may reflect the gregarious social structure and different foraging patterns by Dama dama.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page