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Canine echinococcosis screening in foxhound hunts in England and Wales using coproantigen ELISA and coproPCR

  • Wai San Lett (a1), Belgees Boufana (a1), Samia Lahmar (a2), Helen Bradshaw (a1), Thomas M.H. Walters (a3), Arjen Brouwer (a4), Alasdair R. Fraser (a5), Deborah Maskell (a6) and Philip S. Craig (a1)...

Abstract

A total of eight foxhound packs in England and Wales were screened for Echinococcus species using a genus-specific coproantigen ELISA and for Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato and Echinococcus equinus by coproPCR. Main screening (n = 364 hounds) occurred during 2010–2011 wherein a quarter (25.6%) of the foxhound fecal samples tested were Echinococcus coproantigen-positive (93/364). In total, five of eight (62.5%) hunts screened had coproantigen-positive hounds; coproantigen prevalence for individual foxhound packs ranged from 0 to 61.2% and was shown to be >30% in three hunts (in counties of Powys, Wales and Northumberland, England). Foxhound fecal samples from six of the eight tested hunts (four Welsh and two English hunts) were positive by coproPCR for E. granulosus s.l (including one sequence confirmation of E. granulosus sensu stricto) and E. equinus DNA. Analysis of hunt questionnaire data suggested that there was an association between poor foxhound husbandry, especially feeding practices and Echinococcus coproantigen prevalence. Clearer guidelines regarding the risk of canine echinococcosis are required for safe management of foxhound hunts in England and Wales.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Belgees Boufana, E-mail: belgees.boufana@apha.gov.uk

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Equal contribution.

Deceased.

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References

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