Seasonal dynamics of the fecal excretion of Elaphostrongylus cervi (Nematoda, Metastrongyloidea) first-stage larvae in Iberian red deer (Cervus elaphus hispanicus) from southern Spain.
ABSTRACT Elaphostrongylus cervi (Nematoda, Metastrongyloidea) is an extrapulmonary lungworm of red deer (Cervus elaphus) whose first-stage larvae (L1) require terrestrial gastropods as intermediate hosts. The seasonal pattern of fecal excretion of E. cervi L1 in Iberian red deer (Cervus elaphus hispanicus) was monitored during three annual periods (June 2000-May 2003) on a hunting estate from south-central Spain. The lowest rates of mean intensity of fecal L1 were found in summer, whereas no seasonal variation was found for prevalence. Monthly intensity of excretion was positively associated with early rainfall (the next month) rather than with rainfall of the same month. This seasonal rhythm of E. cervi L1 discharge may be the result of parasite adaptation to the seasonal Mediterranean climate and habitat constraints to improve the chance of parasite transmission. We have standardized the sampling period to compare E. cervi L1 infection rates of Iberian red deer populations in Mediterranean Spain, a natural limit of both the parasite and deer historical ranges, for potential use in the assessment of management strategies.
Article: Risk factors associated with the prevalence of tuberculosis-like lesions in fenced wild boar and red deer in south central Spain.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In recent decades the management of large game mammals has become increasingly intensive in south central Spain (SCS), resulting in complex epidemiological scenarios for disease maintenance, and has probably impeded schemes to eradicate tuberculosis (TB) in domestic livestock. We conducted an analysis of risk factors which investigated associations between the pattern of tuberculosis-like lesions (TBL) in wild boar (Sus scrofa) and red deer (Cervus elaphus) across 19 hunting estates from SCS and an extensive set of variables related to game management, land use and habitat structure. The aggregation of wild boar at artificial watering sites was significantly associated with an increasing risk of detecting TBL in both species, which probably relates to enhanced opportunities for transmission. Aggregation of wild boar at feeding sites was also associated with increased risks of TBL in red deer. Hardwood Quercus spp. forest availability was marginally associated with an increased risk of TB in both species, whereas scrubland cover was associated with a reduced individual risk of TBL in the wild boar. It is concluded that management practices that encourage the aggregation of hosts, and some characteristics of Mediterranean habitats could increase the frequency and probability of both direct and indirect transmission of TB. These findings are of concern for both veterinary and public health authorities, and reveal tuberculosis itself as a potential limiting factor for the development and sustainability of such intensive game management systems in Spanish Mediterranean habitats.Veterinary Research 38(3):451-64. · 4.06 Impact Factor