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First confirmed case of Alaria alata mesocercaria in Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) hunted in Latvia

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Trematode Alaria spp. have a complex life cycle that includes canids, mustelids, and felids as definitive hosts. However, several mammal species, besides acting as definitive hosts, may also act as paratenic hosts. Alaria spp. life cycles are well studied. Still, there is a lack of knowledge on one host significance as both—the paratenic and definitive host, especially in the case of Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx). Previous studies have described Eurasian lynx as a definitive host for A. alata although the prevalence has always been low. The aim of the present study was to analyze the occurrence of A. alata in Eurasian lynx in Latvia. The viscera (n = 231) and muscle samples (n = 234) from Eurasian lynx were collected during the hunting seasons from 2004/2005 to 2017/2018. The prevalence of the adult A. alata in Eurasian lynx was 1.7%. However, mesocercariae infection in Eurasian lynx was detected for the first time. These findings suggest that the Eurasian lynx may serve both as paratenic and definitive host for A. alata.

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We would like to thank first the staff of the Institute for Food Safety, Animal Health and Environment “BIOR” and especially Maira Mateusa for her valuable help in the laboratory; the Latvian State Forest Research Institute “SILAVA” and especially Gundega Done for her research on age determination of lynx; and lastly, the volunteer hunters, for their cooperation and positive attitude towards studying sylvatic carnivores.

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Correspondence to Zanda Ozoliņa.

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Ozoliņa, Z., Bagrade, G. & Deksne, G. First confirmed case of Alaria alata mesocercaria in Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) hunted in Latvia. Parasitol Res 119, 759–762 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-019-06556-8

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  • Mesocercariae
  • Latvia
  • Definitive host
  • Paratenic host
  • Felids