Thelazia callipaeda is a zoonotic parasite causing ocular disease in domestic dogs, cats, several wild carnivores, hares, and humans. This nematode is widely distributed in Europe, where it is transmitted by the drosophilid fly Phortica variegata. Since the first report of infection in grey wolves (Canis lupus) from southern Italy, other cases of thelaziosis have been recorded in this animal species throughout Europe, raising questions about their role in spreading T. callipaeda. Indeed, for their wandering behavior through long distances and living in woody areas where the vectors thrive, wolves may act as reservoirs and spreaders of thelaziosis. In this study we reviewed the literature about wolves acting as reservoirs of T. callipaeda in Europe. In addition, we report the first detection of T. callipaeda eyeworms in grey wolves in the Italian Alps, discussing its possible implications in the epidemiology of thelaziosis in the Alpine landscape. Animals (n = 3) included in this study were originated from the Italian Alps, one juvenile male wolf was found dead, and the other two were seven-year-old males translocated from Piedmont region to a Zoological Garden, in Tuscany. All animals were infected with eyeworms, which were morphologically and molecularly identified as T. callipaeda. Data herein presented confirm those available in the literature about the circulation of a unique cox1 haplotype in Europe. In addition, the report of T. callipaeda in wolves from the Alps suggests an ecological continuity of habitats which are suitable for the distribution of T. callipaeda from the southern to northern Italy through the Apennine backbone. Retrospectively, it could also explain the spreading of the oriental eyeworm infection in Europe over the last 20 years with many wild carnivores, such as foxes and possibly wolves, playing a pivotal role as reservoirs of the infection for dogs, cats and humans.

Wild carnivores and Thelazia callipaeda zoonotic eyeworms: A focus on wolves

Perrucci S.;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Thelazia callipaeda is a zoonotic parasite causing ocular disease in domestic dogs, cats, several wild carnivores, hares, and humans. This nematode is widely distributed in Europe, where it is transmitted by the drosophilid fly Phortica variegata. Since the first report of infection in grey wolves (Canis lupus) from southern Italy, other cases of thelaziosis have been recorded in this animal species throughout Europe, raising questions about their role in spreading T. callipaeda. Indeed, for their wandering behavior through long distances and living in woody areas where the vectors thrive, wolves may act as reservoirs and spreaders of thelaziosis. In this study we reviewed the literature about wolves acting as reservoirs of T. callipaeda in Europe. In addition, we report the first detection of T. callipaeda eyeworms in grey wolves in the Italian Alps, discussing its possible implications in the epidemiology of thelaziosis in the Alpine landscape. Animals (n = 3) included in this study were originated from the Italian Alps, one juvenile male wolf was found dead, and the other two were seven-year-old males translocated from Piedmont region to a Zoological Garden, in Tuscany. All animals were infected with eyeworms, which were morphologically and molecularly identified as T. callipaeda. Data herein presented confirm those available in the literature about the circulation of a unique cox1 haplotype in Europe. In addition, the report of T. callipaeda in wolves from the Alps suggests an ecological continuity of habitats which are suitable for the distribution of T. callipaeda from the southern to northern Italy through the Apennine backbone. Retrospectively, it could also explain the spreading of the oriental eyeworm infection in Europe over the last 20 years with many wild carnivores, such as foxes and possibly wolves, playing a pivotal role as reservoirs of the infection for dogs, cats and humans.
2022
Bezerra-Santos, M. A.; Moroni, B.; Mendoza-Roldan, J. A.; Perrucci, S.; Cavicchio, P.; Cordon, R.; Cianfanelli, C.; Lia, R. P.; Rossi, L.; Otranto, D....espandi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1135170
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