Dictyocaulus eckerti, lungworm infecting farmed red deer in New Zealand

Dictyocaulus eckerti, lungworm infecting farmed red deer in New Zealand
Peer reviewed


It has been acknowledged that lungworm is the most important parasite of farmed red deer (Cervus elaphus) in New Zealand. (Charleston, 1980; Gladden, 1981; Mason, 1994). Lungworm of deer, cattle, sheep, horses and donkeys belong to the genus Dictyocaulus. However, since its establishment in 1907, the definition of some of the species credited to this genus has been the subject of debate. Distinct lungworm species infecting deer (D. noerneri and D. eckerti) have been proposed but not widely accepted, due to the absence of convincing morphological or biological evidence distinguishing them from D. viviparus, the species known to infect cattle worldwide. Thus, researchers have considered that lungworms infecting cattle and deer were most likely to be host-adapted strains of the same species (D. viviparus) (Charleston, 1980; Mackintosh et al, 1985; Mason, 1994; Waldrup et al, 1998). In 1988, Gibbons and Khalil reviewed the genus on a morphological basis and acknowledged D. eckerti as a separate species. In 1995, Epe et al reported results of DNA analyses of various isolates, including one classified as D. eckerti that was isolated from German fallow deer. In 1997 they compared the DNA sequences of the second internally-transcribed spacer units (ITS-2) derived from lungworms from fallow deer, cattle, donkeys and sheep. The level of homology between the sequences was….

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