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Acta Parasitologica, Vol.45, No. 4, 2000, 340-344
Cabaj Wladyslaw (1), Pozio Eduardo (2), Moskwa Bozena (1), Malczewski Andrzej (1) - Trichinella britovi and T. spiralis in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Poland.

(1) W. Stefanski Institute of Parasitology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warszawa, Poland; (2) Laboratory of Parasitology, Istituto Superiore di Sanita, viale Regina Elena, 2999-00161, Rome, Italy;

The aim of the present survey was to determine the distribution of Trichinella species in red foxes in Poland. Muscles have been collected from 1282 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) killed by hunters in different regions of Poland between 1995 and 1999. Trichinella larvae have been collected after artificial digestion of muscles and preserved in absolute ethyl alcohol before molecular identification. Random amplified polymorphic DNA analysis and two other polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based analyses have been used to identify larvae at the species level. The overall prevalence of infection was found to be 5.7% (73/1282 examined foxes), but larvae from only 44 foxes could be recovered for species identification. From these, thirty-two foxes (72.7%) harboured T. britovi, five (11.4%) had T. spiralis, four (9.1%) showed a mixed infection with the two species. The DNA of larvae from three (6.8%) animals did not showed reproducible results. This study shows T. britovi as the most important etiological agent of sylvatic trichinellosis in almost the whole territory of Poland and the role of red fox in the maintenance of this parasite in nature.

KEY WORDS: Trichinella britovi, T. spiralis, red fox, Vulpes vulpes , Poland
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