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Gastrointestinal parasites of feral cats from Christmas Island

Adams, P.J., Elliot, A.D., Algar, D. and Brazell, R.I. (2008) Gastrointestinal parasites of feral cats from Christmas Island. Australian Veterinary Journal, 86 (1-2). pp. 60-63.

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Objective To investigate the gastrointestinal parasites present in feral cats on Christmas Island, with particular interest in the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Procedure Faecal and serum samples were collected from 28 and 25 cats respectively that were trapped as part of an ongoing eradication program being run on Christmas Island by the Department of Environment and Conservation. Faecal samples were screened microscopically for helminth and protozoan parasites. Serum samples were screened for antibodies to T gondii using a commercial indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and a latex agglutination test (LAT). Results The most common helminth parasites detected were Toxocara cati (present in 15 of 28 faecal samples), Strongyloides sp (13/28), Aelurostrongylus abstrusus, (7/28), an unidentified capillarid (6/28) and Ancylostoma sp (4/28). Based on serology, T gondii was the most common parasite detected (protozoan or otherwise) with antibodies detected in 24 serum samples by IFA and 23 serum samples by LAT. Conclusion Cats on Christmas Island harbour many of the helminth and protozoan parasites reported from feral cats elsewhere in Australia. The high seroprevalence of T gondii in these cats indicates a high level of exposure to the parasite in this environment.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Copyright: © 2008 The Authors
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