Journal of Helminthology

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Review Article

Parasitic helminths of the wild rabbit, Oryctolagus cuniculus, in different bioclimatic zones in Tenerife, Canary Islands

P. Forondaa1 c1, A. Del Castilloa1, N. Abreua1, E. Figuerueloa1, J. Piñeroa1 and J.C. Casanovaa2

a1 Department of Parasitology, Ecology and Genetics, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of La Laguna, Avda. Astrofísico Fco. Sánchez s/n, 38203, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

a2 Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Barcelona, Avda. Diagonal s/n, 08028 Barcelona, Spain

Article author query

Foronda P [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
Castillo AD [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
Abreu N [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
Figueruelo E [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
Piñero J [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
Casanova JC [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]


Faunistic and ecological analyses of the wild rabbit helminth fauna were undertaken in Tenerife island (Canary Islands). Rabbits were collected between 1998 and 2000 in seven bioclimatic zones in Tenerife selected by orientation and altitude. Five parasite species were identified, three cestodes (Taenia pisiformis (larvae), Andrya cuniculi and Mosgovoyia ctenoides) and two nematodes (Trichostrongylus retortaeformis and Passalurus ambiguus). Taenia pisiformis presented an irregular distribution with significant differences in prevalences between the zones. Andrya cuniculi was only found in two zones and there were no significant differences in prevalence values. Mosgovoyia ctenoides presented a wide distribution with significant prevalences, which were higher in northern compared to southern zones. Trichostrongylus retortaeformis was absent in the low southern zones of the island. Passalurus ambiguus was found in all zones with no significant difference in the prevalence of infection. The differences in prevalences are likely to be explained by abiotic factors in the case of T. retortaeformis, and by the absence of definitive and intermediate hosts in the case of T. pisiformis and A. cuniculi, respectively. All parasite species in Tenerife are common helminths in the Iberian Peninsula, from which their rabbit hosts originated. No significant differences were recorded in the mean intensities of infection of any of the parasite species identified.

(Accepted March 17 2003)


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