Acta Parasitologica, Vol. 51, No. 4, 2006, 300-308 Catarina Eira(1)*, Jordi Torres(1), Jose Vingada(2) and Jordi Miquel(1) - Ecological aspects influencing the helminth community of the wood mouse Apodemus sylvaticus in Dunas de Mira, Portugal
(1)Laboratori de Parasitologia, Departament de Microbiologia i Parasitologia Sanitaries, Facultat de Farmacia, Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Joan XXIII, sn, 08028 Barcelona, Spain; (2)Departamento de Biologia, Universidade do Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
*Corresponding author: email@example.com
This paper presents the first extensive data on the helminth community of the wood mouse Apodemus sylvaticus in a coastal sand dune area in Portugal. The 557 hosts analysed in this study were trapped seasonally between autumn 2002 and summer 2005 across 6 habitat types. Twelve helminth species were detected among which, Taenia parva larvae, Angiostrongylus dujardini, Heligmosomoides polygyrus, Syphacia stroma and S. frederici constitute the component species, accounting for 98.7% of all worms. H. polygyrus was the most prevalent helminth parasite. Species richness varied according to habitat and season. The highest species richness was found in sand dunes during winter whereas the lowest was detected along lake margins also during the winter. Some differences in prevalence and mean intensity values were found in relation to year (T. parva larvae and H. polygyrus), habitat (A. dujardini), season (T. parva larvae, H. polygyrus, A. dujardini and S. stroma) and host sex (T. parva larvae and S. stroma). These differences are discussed both in view of the host's biology and habitat characteristics.
KEY WORDS: Helminths, Apodemus sylvaticus, habitat, seasonality, Portugal
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