Use of Mini-FLOTAC and Fill-FLOTAC for rapidly diagnosing parasitic infections in zoo mammals

Utilização do Mini-FLOTAC e Fill-FLOTAC no diagnóstico rápido de infecções parasitárias de mamíferos em zoológicos

Michele Capasso Maria Paola Maurelli Davide Ianniello Leucio Camara Alves Alessandra Amadesi Piero Laricchiuta Pasqualino Silvestre Marco Campolo Giuseppe Cringoli Laura Rinaldi About the authors

Abstract

Animals reared in restricted environments are highly susceptible to gastrointestinal infection by helminths and protozoa and therefore zoos are characterized as being parasite-rich environments. Successful implementation of control programs of these parasites in zoo environment depends upon precise and rapid diagnosing of gastrointestinal infections. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the role of the Mini-FLOTAC technique in combination with Fill-FLOTAC for rapidly diagnosing parasitic infections in zoo mammals. Fecal samples were collected from 70 animals in four different zoos located in central and southern Italy. All the samples were analyzed using Mini-FLOTAC in combination with Fill-FLOTAC. Out of the 70 pooled samples examined, 80% (24/30) were positive for at least one parasite. Among the gastrointestinal nematodes, Strongyles were the most frequent (40%), followed by Trichuris spp. (23.3%), Parascaris spp. (13.3%) and Capillaria spp. (3.3%). Among the protozoa, Blastocystis spp., Giardia spp. and Eimeria spp. were detected in 6.6%, 3.3% and 3.3%, respectively. These results show that Mini-FLOTAC in combination with Fill-FLOTAC can be used, not only for rapidly diagnosing parasitic infections in zoo mammals, but also for monitoring control programs in which large numbers of fecal samples need to be examined rapidly and reliably.

Keywords:
Parasitological diagnosis; gastrointestinal parasites; zoo management

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