Beyond the raccoon roundworm: The natural history of non-raccoon species in the New World.

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International journal for parasitology. Parasites and wildlife, ISSN: 2213-2244, Vol: 6, Issue: 2, Page: 85-99

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Sapp, Sarah G H; Gupta, Pooja; Martin, Melissa K; Murray, Maureen H; Niedringhaus, Kevin D; Pfaff, Madeleine A; Yabsley, Michael J
Elsevier BV
Immunology and Microbiology; Agricultural and Biological Sciences; Medicine
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review description
A total of 10 species of , a genus of ascaridoid nematodes, occur worldwide and 6 of them occur in the New World. Most of the species have a similar life cycle with carnivorous mammals or marsupials serving as definitive hosts and a smaller prey host serving as paratenic (or intermediate) hosts. However, one species in rodents is unique in that it only has one host. Considerable research has been conducted on the raccoon roundworm, as it is a well-known cause of severe to fatal neurologic disease in humans and many wildlife species. However, other species could cause larva migrans but research on them is limited in comparison. In addition to concerns related to the potential impacts of larva migrans on potential paratenic hosts, there are many questions about the geographic ranges, definitive and paratenic host diversity, and general ecology of these non-raccoon species. Here, we provide a comprehensive review of the current knowledge of New World species, including of skunks, and of bears, of sciurids, of gulonids, of badgers, and of kinkajou. Discussed are what is known regarding the morphology, host range, geographic distribution, ecoepidemiology, infection dynamics in definitive and paratenic hosts, treatment, and control of these under-studied species. Also, we discuss the currently used molecular tools used to investigate this group of parasites. Because of morphologic similarities among larval stages of sympatric species, these molecular tools should provide critical insight into these poorly-understood areas, especially paratenic and definitive host diversity and the possible risk these parasites pose to the health to the former group. This, paired with traditional experimental infections, morphological analysis, and field surveys will lead to a greater understanding of this interesting and important nematode genus.