Report of Trichinella spiralis in a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in Northern Ireland

I. A. Zimmer*, S. A. Fee, S. Spratt-Davison, S. J. Hunter, V. D. Boughtflower, C. P. Morgan, K. R. Hunt, G. C. Smith, D. Abernethy, M. Howell, M. A. Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

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No systematic studies of the occurrence of Trichinella in wildlife have been carried out in Northern Ireland (NI) in recent years, and the last reports of trichinellosis in livestock and human outbreaks in NI date back to 1979 and 1945, respectively. In this study, covering the period 2003/2004 and 2007/2008, a total of 443 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) were collected throughout the country and screened for trichinellosis using a modified muscle digest method. One examined animal was found to be infected with larvae from Trichinella spiralis, indicating a national prevalence in NI of Trichinella in foxes of 0.2%. This prevalence compares well to the findings reported from the bordering Republic of Ireland [Rafter, P., Marucci, G., Brangan, P., Pozio, E., 2005. Rediscovery of Trichinella spiralis in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Ireland after 30 years of oblivion. J. Infect. 50, 61-65] and could be a further indication for a sylvatic Trichinella life cycle existing independently from the domestic cycle. Crown

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-303
Number of pages4
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Issue number3-4
Early online date22 Oct 2008
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Foxes
  • Northern Ireland (NI)
  • Trichinella


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