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Zoonotic Echinostome Infections in Free-Grazing Ducks in Thailand

  • Saijuntha, Weerachai (Walai Rukhavej Botanical Research Institute (WRBRI), Mahasarakham University) ;
  • Duenngai, Kunyarat (Department of Public Health, Faculty of Science and Technology, Phetchabun Rajabhat University) ;
  • Tantrawatpan, Chairat (Division of Cell Biology, Department of Preclinical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Thammasat University)
  • Received : 2013.05.30
  • Accepted : 2013.10.11
  • Published : 2013.12.31

Abstract

Free-grazing ducks play a major role in the rural economy of Eastern Asia in the form of egg and meat production. In Thailand, the geographical location, tropical climate conditions and wetland areas of the country are suitable for their husbandry. These environmental factors also favor growth, multiplication, development, survival, and spread of duck parasites. In this study, a total of 90 free-grazing ducks from northern, central, and northeastern regions of Thailand were examined for intestinal helminth parasites, with special emphasis on zoonotic echinostomes. Of these, 51 (56.7%) were infected by one or more species of zoonotic echinostomes, Echinostoma revolutum, Echinoparyphium recurvatum, and Hypoderaeum conoideum. Echinostomes found were identified using morphological criteria when possible. ITS2 sequences were used to identify juvenile and incomplete worms. The prevalence of infection was relatively high in each region, namely, north, central, and northeast region was 63.2%, 54.5%, and 55.3%, respectively. The intensity of infection ranged up to 49 worms/infected duck. Free-grazing ducks clearly play an important role in the life cycle maintenance, spread, and transmission of these medically important echinostomes in Thailand.

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