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Lungworms of dogs and cats in intermediate hosts in eastern Austria – a pilot study

Snails and slugs of different genera can serve as intermediate host for various lungworms of dogs and cats (Angiostrongylus vasorum, Crenosoma vulpis, Aelurostrongylus abstrusus and others). To date, very little information on the presence and distribution of these species in Austrian dogs and cats is available from Austria. It is therefore hypothesized (a) that the determination of lungworm larvae in the intermediate hosts can provide information on the presence of lungworms in different areas in eastern Austria and (b) that the presence of invasive species, such as Arion vulgaris (wrongly described as A. lusitanicus) or Helix aspersa/Cryptomphalus aspersus are drivers of lungworm distribution in areas they invade. To test this, ca. 1000 slugs (non-endangered species, such as A. vulgaris, Limax spp., Deroceras spp. and snails (non-endangered species, such as Xerolenta spp., Hygromia spp.) . will be collected (incl. georeferencing of the collection sites), identified to species level, digested according to standard protocols and in case of findings of nematode L1, subjected to microscopic and molecular procedures for nematode identification. Collection sites will be chosen according to findings of the snails and the presence of definitive hosts, i.e. dogs, cats and foxes, in the city of Vienna and the surrounding areas of Lower Austria and Burgenland. For preparation of the sampling a distribution “atlas” of the snail species in question with a species determination key will be prepared beforehand.Side projects that may arise from this project include:Taxonomic studies on trematode larvae in the snailsDetermination of the presence of Arion rufus, an endemic, endangered sister species of A. vulgaris.Determination of snail-specific nematodesDiploma students will be instructed to collect snails and slugs according to a sampling plan at pre-determined sites. Animals will be determined, sacrificed and digested. Positive samples will be sent to Teramo for PCR.
Worms n snails
Joachim Anja,
Art der Forschung
Beteiligte Vetmed-Organisationseinheiten
Institut für Parasitologie,
Gefördert durch
Bayer Anmial Health GmbH, Kaiser-Wilhelm-Allee 10, 51373 Leverkusen, Deutschland
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