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Toxocara canis in experimentally infected silver and arctic foxes

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In two experiments, thirty-six farm foxes of two species were inoculated with various doses of infective Toxocara canis eggs or tissue larvae isolated from mice. In experiment I, six adult arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus; 11-month old) were each inoculated with 20,000 eggs and sacrificed 100, 220, or 300 days post infection (dpi), while ten silver fox cubs (Vulpes vulpes; 6–9-week old) were infected with varying doses of eggs (30–3000) and necropsied 120 dpi. In experiment II, two groups of five cubs and two groups of five adult silver foxes received both a primary inoculation and either one or two challenge inoculations: primary inoculation (day 0) with 400 embryonated eggs were administered to five cubs and five adults and another five cubs and five adults received 400 larvae. At 50 dpi, the first challenge inoculation (400 eggs) was inoculated in all animals. At 100 dpi, three animals from each group were necropsied. The remaining two animals in each group were received a second challenge inoculation of 400 tissue larvae on 100 dpi and were subsequently necropsied at 150 dpi. In both experiments, the highest numbers of larvae per gram (lpg) of tissue was found in the kidneys (100–300 dpi). In adult foxes receiving a high dose (20,000 eggs), increasing larval burdens were found in the kidneys over the course of the experiment (up to 300 dpi). The larval migration from the lungs to other tissues appeared to be dose-dependent with the highest larval burdens found in adult foxes. The faecal egg excretion, larval burden and intestinal worm burdens decreased from the first to the second challenge infection.

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The Naestved Municipal is acknowledged for a PhD scholarship and the Danish National Research Foundation for financial support to experimentation. The animals were kept under the Danish experimental animal permission number 2000-561-321 and treated according to the animal ethics law of EU.

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Correspondence to Isam Saeed.

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Saeed, I., Taira, K. & Kapel, C.M.O. Toxocara canis in experimentally infected silver and arctic foxes. Parasitol Res 97, 160–166 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-005-1414-7

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  • Worm Burden
  • Paratenic Host
  • Challenge Infection
  • Tissue Larva
  • Challenge Inoculation