Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/10/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: In the late 1980's a highly pathogenic lungworm (Protostrongylidae) was discovered in muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) from the Coppermine region of the Northwest Territories, Canada. A new genus and species, designated Umingmakstrongylus pallikuukensis, is established for this parasite. It is distinguished from related protostrongylids by characters of the copulatory structures in males, and by the form of the tail in the first stage larvae. The cycle is complex and involves a molluscan intermediate host. A restricted geographic range is currently recognized for this parasite. However the pathogenicity of this parasite muskoxen indicates that it could pose problems for management of this bovid in the Holarctic.
Technical Abstract: Umingmakstrongylus pallikuukensis gen. n. et sp. n. is established for a protostrongylid nematode in Ovibos moschatus from the Coppermine region, Northwest Territories, Canada. It is distinguished from Cystocaulus and other Muelleriinae by characters of males including: deeply incised, bilobed bursa, independent externodorsal rays, telamon composed of distal transverse plate, absence of falcate crurae and spicules not distally split; females: absence of provagina; and first stage larvae: presence of 3 cuticular folds on the tail, apparently unique among the Protostrongylidae. The great length of females (468.4 mm) and males (171 mm) is exceptional among the Protostrongylidae. Pathognomonic lesions include well defined cysts dispersed through the lung tissue (maximum diameter 40mm) containing adult and larval parasites in a dense matrix. Transmission involves a molluscan intermediate host as indicated by experimental infections in the slug, Deroceras reticulatum. A restricted geographic distribution for this parasite in muskoxen of the Coppermine region may be indicative of a relictual host-parasite assemblage which has existed since the Pleistocene. The apparent pathogenicity, high prevalence and intensity of infection in the Coppermine herd suggest that the occurrence of U. pallikuukensis poses implications for the management of muskoxen in the Holarctic.