Folia Parasitologica, vol. 64 (2017)

Folia Parasitologica 64:013 (2017) | DOI: 10.14411/fp.2017.013

An eight-year survey of the intestinal parasites of carnivores, hoofed mammals, primates, ratites and reptiles in the Ljubljana zoo in Slovenia

Pavel Kvapil1,2, Marjan Kastelic1, Alenka Dovč3, Eva Bártová2, Petr Čížek4, Natacha Lima5, Špela Štrus1
1 Zoo Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia;
2 University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene and Ecology, Department of Biology and Wildlife Diseases, Brno, Czech Republic;
3 University of Ljubljana, Veterinary Faculty, Institute for Poultry, Birds, Small Mammals and Reptiles, Ljubljana, Slovenia;
4 University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Brno, Czech Republic;
5 Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias, Lisbon, Portugal

Problems with parasitic infections and their interspecies transmissions are common in zoological gardens and could pose serious health damage to captive animals. This study presents results of eight-year monitoring of intestinal parasites in animals from Zoo Ljubljana, Slovenia. A total of 741 faecal samples from 40 animal species were collected two to four times per year and examined microscopically. Intestinal parasites were detected in 45% of samples, with detection of helminths (Cestoda, Nematoda - Ascaridida, Enoplida, Strongylida, Oxyurida, Rhabditida and Trichurida) and protists (Apicomplexa and Ciliophora) in 25% and 13% of samples, respectively; mixed infection was found in 7% of samples. The mostly infected were ungulates (61%), followed by reptiles (44%), ratites (29%), primates (22%) and carnivores (7%). During the observation period, the number of infected animal species increased from 8 to 25. This is the first long-term monitoring study of intestinal parasites in zoo animals from Slovenia. Routine monitoring of parasitic infection and regular deworming and hygienic measures are necessary to prevent gastrointestinal infections in captive animals.

Keywords: helminths, protists, long-term monitoring, zoo animals, coprology

Received: November 30, 2016; Accepted: March 21, 2017; Published online: April 21, 2017


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