Frequency of Intestinal Parasites among Zoo Animal by Morphometric Criteria and First Report of the Bivitellobilhar-zia nairi from Elephant (Elephasmaximus maximus) in Iran
AbstractBackground: Intestinal parasitic infections are major causative agents of wildlife health complications among different parts of the world. This study aimed to investigate the gastro-intestinal parasites in feces of the zoo animals based on parasitological and morphometric criteria. Methods: One hundred fresh fecal samples were collected from 35 species of animal lived in Eram park zoo, Tehran, Central Iran during Oct 2015 to Jun 2015. All collected samples were examined by microscopic observation following direct wet mount preparation (normal saline and Lugol's iodine), formalin-ether concentration, and permanent staining. The morphometric aspects of the recovered eggs were surveyed with the aid of Camera Lucida (×400). Results: 65.7% (23/35) of zoo animal species were infected with intestinal parasites. The superfamily Trichostrongyloidea (6/16) and Strongylus sp. (16/4) were the most prevalent helminthic infections, while Blastocystis sp. (6/14), Entamoeba cyst (3/14) and Eimeria sp. (3/14) were the common protozoan parasites. For the first time, Bivitellobilharzia nairi egg was identified an elephant at Iran. Intestinal parasitic infections were apparently circulating among animals of the Eram park zoo. Conclusion: Identified parasitic infections can consider as a threatening source to visitors and workers' health that have contact with animals or their feces. Therefore, the effectual preventive strategies should be addressed to determine the risk factors, mechanisms of cross-transmission of parasite, the importance of applying the hygienic practices and well adjusting deworming programs for the animals, zoo workers and visitors.
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