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The helminth parasites of the wild rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus and their effect on host condition in Dunas de Mira, Portugal

  • C. Eira (a1) (a2), J. Torres (a1), J. Miquel (a1) and J. Vingada (a2)

Abstract

The present study focuses on the helminth parasite community of the wild rabbit in a sand dune area in Portugal over a 5-year period. The influence of host sex and year on the composition of the helminth community is assessed, along with the potential effect of the detected helminths on host body condition. The basic structure of the helminth community comprises Mosgovoyia ctenoides, Graphidium strigosum, Trichostrongylus retortaeformis, Nematodiroides zembrae and Passalurus ambiguus. Mean intensities of G. strigosum varied between years. General G. strigosum intensities were also found to vary according to both year and host sex, but not according to the interaction of both factors. When assessing the effect of helminths on rabbit body condition (expressed by the kidney fat index), higher burdens of M. ctenoides, a cestode that presents a relatively large body mass, were found to induce a reduction in rabbit condition.

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Corresponding author

*Fax:+34 934 024 504 E-mail: catarina.eira@gmail.com

References

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