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Influence of host weight, sex and reproductive status on helminth parasites of the wild rabbit, Oryctolagus cuniculus, in Navarra, Spain

  • X. Molina (a1), J.C. Casanova (a1) and C. Feliu (a1)

Abstract

A study was carried out in Navarra (northern Spain) on the influence of the weight, sex and reproductive status (lactant, pregnant or lactant + pregnant females and testicular weight for males) of the wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) on two cestodes species: Andrya cuniculi and Mosgovoyia ctenoides and four intestinal nematodes: Graphidium strigosum, Trichostrongylus retortaeformis, Nematodiroides zembrae and Dermatoxys hispaniensis. A significantly higher prevalence of A. cuniculi was detected in lactant + pregnant females compared with non-breeding females. Trichostrongylus retortaeformis and N. zembrae showed a significantly higher mean intensity in lactant and lactant + pregnant females than in non-reproductive females. Trichostrongylus retortaeformis presented a higher mean intensity in females than in males, and the mean intensity of the same parasite species was significantly lower in active and inactive males compared with lactant and lactant + pregnant females. There were no significant differences between sexes in the prevalence of helminth parasites. No significant correlation was detected between host weight and the intensity (of infection) of helminths studied. No significant differences in the prevalence and mean intensity of the two cestode species were observed in the three weight categories studied (kittens, juveniles and adults). The prevalence of G. strigosum and mean intensity of T. retortaeformis were significantly higher in older heavier animals than in juveniles.

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*Fax: 93 402 45 04 E-mail: casanova@farmacia.far.ub.es

References

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