Intestinal establishment and reproduction of adult Trichinella spp. in single and mixed species infections in foxes (Vulpes vulpes)
Intestinal establishment and reproduction of adult Trichinella spiralis, Trichinella nativa, Trichinella britovi and Trichinella pseudospiralis were examined as single species or mixed species infections in foxes. This is the first study of intestinal dynamics of Trichinella spp. in a carnivore model and the results suggest that the intestinal phase is relatively short as only very few worms were recovered 10 days post-inoculation (dpi). In mixed species infection with equal doses of T. nativa and T. spiralis, molecular typing demonstrated that 64% of the intestinal worms and 78% of the muscle larvae were T. nativa. Conversely, T. spiralis dominated in the mixed species infections with T. pseudospiralis, constituting 66% of the intestinal worms and 94% of the muscle larvae. Although, the individual recoveries of intestinal worms were only up to 5.6% on day 1, and up to 1.5% on day 4 post-infection, the muscle larvae establishment was comparable to other fox studies. Infectivity, measured as muscle larvae burden did not differ among the four species of Trichinella, which is in contrast to other models with mice, rats, pigs or herbivores. Although statistically significant differences in intestinal worm burdens were found for some days, no distinct species were recovered in consistently higher numbers than the others.
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