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Trichinella T6 and Trichinella nativa in Wolverines (Gulo gulo) from Nunavut, Canada


Infection of Trichinella spp. is common among animals in the Canadian Arctic. We determined the prevalence of Trichinella spp. infection in wolverines (Gulo gulo) from Nunavut, Canada. Diaphragms from 41 wolverines were examined by artificial digestion. Trichinella spp. larvae were detected in 36 (87.8%) examined animals. Trichinella T6 was detected in 33 (91.7%), Trichinella nativa in only one (2.8%), and a mixed Trichinella T6 and T. nativa infections were detected in two (5.6%) wolverines. This is the first report of Trichinella spp. infection in wolverines from Nunavut and the first report of sympatric Trichinella T6 and T. nativa in any host. The high prevalence of Trichinella spp. infection in combination with the natural history of wolverines suggests that the mustelid may be a key species in the natural cycle of these parasites in Arctic and Subarctic areas.

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The present study was funded in part by the Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board, and the Department of Environment, Government of Nunavut. We thank the Kugluktuk Hunters’ and Trappers’ Organization for their support and participation with the wolverine carcass collection program, Angie Bruner and Jennifer Jane Garrett for laboratory assistance, two anonymous reviewers, and Mathieu Dumond for helpful comments. The present study complied with the laws of Canada, Italy, and the United States of America in which the experiments were conducted.

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Correspondence to Mason V. Reichard.

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Reichard, M.V., Torretti, L., Snider, T.A. et al. Trichinella T6 and Trichinella nativa in Wolverines (Gulo gulo) from Nunavut, Canada. Parasitol Res 103, 657 (2008).

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  • Polar Bear
  • Grizzly Bear
  • Gulo
  • Holarctic Region
  • Artificial Digestion