Helm West Laboratory

Missoula, MT, United States

Helm West Laboratory

Missoula, MT, United States
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Digiani M.C.,CONICET | Digiani M.C.,National University of La Plata | Kinsella J.M.,Helm West Laboratory
Folia Parasitologica | Year: 2014

Alippistrongylus bicaudatus gen. et sp. n. (Nematoda: Heligmonellidae) is described from the striped Atlantic forest rat, Delomys dorsalis (Hensel) (Rodentia: Sigmodontinae), from the province of Misiones in Argentina. The new genus and species is characterised by a synlophe of 21 unequal ridges in both sexes without a gradient in size, with two ridges weakly sclerotised and oriented perpendicularly in the dorsal left quadrant; males with a highly dissymmetrical bursa with a hypertrophied right lobe, and females with a dorsal conical appendage just posterior to the vulva, conferring a two-tailed appearance to the female worms. © Institute of Parasitology, Biology Centre ASCR.


Santoro M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Tkach V.V.,University of North Dakota | Mattiucci S.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Kinsella J.M.,Helm West Laboratory | Nascetti G.,University of Tuscia
Diseases of Aquatic Organisms | Year: 2011

Over the past decades, as a result of various human activities involving intentional or unintentional movement of animals, many helminth species have been introduced to new regions with several ecological and epidemiological implications for the native species. A high prevalence of infection with an introduced digenean Renifer aniarum, previously known only from North America, was found in the grass snake Natrix natrix in the Calabria region, southern Italy. Morphological and molecular comparison with North American R. aniarum has confirmed the identity of the Italian specimens. A total of 41 grass snakes were studied for R. aniarum infection. Of 24 snakes sampled be - tween 2009 and 2010, 22 were positive for this parasite. In contrast, all 17 snakes sampled from museum collections between 1983 and 1994 were negative. Our results support the hypothesis that R. aniarum was perhaps introduced into this area during the 1990s by the translocation of the American bullfrog Lithobates (Rana) catesbeianus, a normal second intermediate host of the digenean in its native range in North America. Although the life cycle of R. aniarum is complex and includes 3 host stages, this parasite has found suitable first and second intermediate hosts as well as definitive hosts in Italy. Renifer aniarum was second only to the very common grass snake tapeworm Ophiotaenia europaea in both prevalence and abundance among 9 species of helminths recovered in our study. © 2011 Inter-Research.


Santoro M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Santoro M.,University of Tuscia | Mattiucci S.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Nascetti G.,University of Tuscia | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

We compared the helminth communities of 5 owl species from Calabria (Italy) and evaluated the effect of phylogenetic and ecological factors on community structure. Two host taxonomic scales were considered, i.e., owl species, and owls vs. birds of prey. The latter scale was dealt with by comparing the data here obtained with that of birds of prey from the same locality and with those published previously on owls and birds of prey from Galicia (Spain). A total of 19 helminth taxa were found in owls from Calabria. Statistical comparison showed only marginal differences between scops owls (Otus scops) and little owls (Athene noctua) and tawny owls (Strix aluco). It would indicate that all owl species are exposed to a common pool of 'owl generalist' helminth taxa, with quantitative differences being determined by differences in diet within a range of prey relatively narrow. In contrast, birds of prey from the same region exhibited strong differences because they feed on different and wider spectra of prey. In Calabria, owls can be separated as a whole from birds of prey with regard to the structure of their helminth communities while in Galicia helminths of owls represent a subset of those of birds of prey. This difference is related to the occurrence in Calabria, but not Galicia, of a pool of 'owl specialist' species. The wide geographical occurrence of these taxa suggest that local conditions may determine fundamental differences in the composition of local communities. Finally, in both Calabria and Galicia, helminth communities from owls were species-poor compared to those from sympatric birds of prey. However, birds of prey appear to share a greater pool of specific helmith taxa derived from cospeciation processes, and a greater potential exchange of parasites between them than with owls because of phylogenetic closeness. © 2012 Santoro et al.


Santoro M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Tripepi M.,C.I.P.R. | Kinsella J.M.,Helm West Laboratory | Panebianco A.,Messina University | Mattiucci S.,University of Rome La Sapienza
Veterinary Journal | Year: 2010

Helminth infestation was identified at post mortem examination in 110/116 (95%) raptors belonging to six species in Southern Italy. Pathological changes associated with helminths were observed in 81/110 (74%) of birds. Lesions in the respiratory system were associated with the nematode Serratospiculum tendo only in Falco peregrinus. Lesions in the digestive tract in a range of species of raptors were associated with nematodes (Cheilospirura falconis, Dispharynx falconis, Dispharynx mathewossianae, Physaloptera spp., Procyrnea spp., Procyrnea leptoptera, Synhimantus spp., Synhimantus laticeps, Eucoleus dispar, Porrocaecum spp. and Porrocaecum angusticolle), acanthocephalans (Centrorhynchus buteonis and Centrorhynchus globocaudatus), digeneans (Neodiplostomum spp., Neodiplostomum perlatum, Parastrigea intermedia and Strigea falconis) and a single cestode (Cladotaenia spp.). © 2009 Elsevier Ltd.


Santoro M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Kinsella J.M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Kinsella J.M.,Helm West Laboratory | Galiero G.,University of Rome La Sapienza | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Parasitology | Year: 2012

We compared helminth communities in 6 species of birds of prey from the Calabria region of southern Italy. In total, 31 helminth taxa, including 17 nematodes, 9 digeneans, 3 acanthocephalans, and 2 cestodes, were found. All helminth species were observed in the gastrointestinal tract, except for 3 spirurid nematodes. Most of the parasite species were detected in at least 2 hosts, but 13 helminth species were found in only 1 host. At the infracommunity level, the overall species richness and Brillouin's index of diversity varied by host, with the highest values in a generalist feeder, the Eurasian buzzard (Buteo buteo), and the lowest in a specialist, the western honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus). Species richness was gender dependent only in the sparrow hawk (Accipiter nisus). The helminth communities were characterized by different dominant species, namely, Centrorhynchus spp. (Acanthocephala) in the Eurasian buzzard and common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), Parastrigea intermedia (Digenea) in the marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus), Physaloptera alata (Nematoda) in the sparrow hawk, Serratospiculum tendo (Nematoda) in the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), and Strigea falconis (Digenea) in the western honey buzzard. Statistical analyses confirmed a highly significant difference of helminth infracommunity structure among host species. We conclude that in the Calabria region of southern Italy, each of the raptor species studied is distinct in terms of its helminth communities, and more diverse feeding habits of the host correspond with richer helminth communities. © American Society of Parasitologists 2012.


Canaris A.G.,PO Box 717 | Kinsella J.M.,Helm West Laboratory | Didyk A.S.,University of New Brunswick
Journal of Parasitology | Year: 2012

In total, 26 western willets, Tringa semipalmata inornata, were examined for helminth parasites, including 8 spring migrating hosts from the Chihuahua Desert, Rio Grande Valley, Texas, and 18 post-breeding hosts from east central Montana. Sixteen species of helminth parasites were present in component communities for both spring migrants and post-breeding birds. There were 9 species of trematodes, 2 cestodes, and 5 of nematodes, with a total of 1,593 individual specimens (X = 99.6, ± SE = 57.9, M = 9) present in migrating willets, and 5 species of trematodes, 8 cestodes, and 3 nematodes for a total of 1,148 individual specimens (X = 71.8, ± SE = 34.4, M = 12) present in post-breeding hosts. Species richness in infracommunities ranged from 2 to 10 (X = 5.1, ± SE = 0.95, M = 5.3) for spring migrants, and from 1 to 4 (X = 2.8, ± SE = 0.26, M = 3) for post-breeding birds. Diversity and evenness were 0.72 and 0.23 for spring migrants and. 0.62 and 0.17 for post-breeding hosts. Trematodes were the dominant taxa in spring migrants and cestode taxa in post-breeding hosts. Helminths with marine-associated life cycles were present in larger numbers in spring migrants from the Rio Grande Valley (11 of 16 species) than in post-breeding hosts from Montana hosts (4 of 16 species). The higher number of marine species in spring migrants was probably related to their more recent association with a marine habitat. Several species of Anomotaenia were major contributors to the component communities in both localities. Four species of nematodes with large prevalence, i.e., Schistorophus skrjabini, Sciadiocara umbellifera, Skrjabinoclava inornatae, and Sobolivicephalus lichtensfelsi, observed in spring migrants from the Rio Grande Valley were absent from Montana hosts. There was only a 2% similarity between the Rio Grande Valley and Montana. All helminth species, except for the possibility of Anomotaenia spp., were generalists. A checklist of helminth parasites of the willet is included. © American Society of Parasitologists 2012.


Moraga P.,Purdue University | Kinsella J.M.,Helm West Laboratory | Sepulveda M.S.,Purdue University
Journal of Helminthology | Year: 2012

Very little is known about parasitic diseases of eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina). The objective of this study was to examine the parasitic fauna of eastern box turtles collected from southern Indiana, USA. Turtles (n = 40) were salvaged mostly as road kills from southern Indiana between May and October 2009. Seven species of helminths in total were found parasitizing the gastrointestinal tract, including two digenean trematodes (Brachycoelium salamandrae and Telorchis robustus) and five nematodes (Oswaldocruzia pipiens, Cosmocercoides dukae, Falcaustra affinis, F. chelydrae and Serpinema trispinosus). We report prevalence, abundance and mean intensity of infection for all helminths. Helminths were not found in any other organs examined (heart, gonads, liver, heart, kidney and urinary bladder) and no ectoparasites were found. Overall, mean intensity of infections was low (1-14 parasites/host), suggesting that these parasites are unlikely to be associated with negative health impacts. This constitutes the first study of this kind for Indiana. © 2011 Cambridge University Press.


PubMed | Helm West Laboratory, University of Valencia, University of Naples Federico II and Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Mezzogiorno
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Parasitology international | Year: 2016

The helminth communities of nine species of herons from southern Italy were studied and compared. Of 24 taxa found including seven digeneans, seven nematodes, six cestodes and four acanthocephalans, only five taxa were found in more than one heron species, and five of the 21 taxa that could be identified to species level were classified as heron specialists. The total number of helminth species per heron species ranged from 1 in Botaurus stellaris to 9 in Ixobrychus minutus with infection levels generally low. A statistical comparison was carried out for herons with a sample size >5. At the infracommunity level, only I. minutus clearly differed from other heron species. Diversity parameters of heminth infracommunities did not significantly differ among heron species. Species richness ranged from just 0.3 to 2.3 helminth taxa per individual host, and the Brillouin index, from 0 to 0.3. Total helminth abundance did not exceed 40 worms per host except in a single case of Ardeola ralloides. Infracommunities clearly were dominated by single helminth species. The present study confirms a depauperate helminth community in herons from southern Italy. Comparison with data from Spain and the Czech Republic showed strong quantitative similarities with values obtained in the present study. Results also suggest that the composition of local helminth communities are strongly variable depending on geographical location as is demonstrated by comparison with data from other European areas. However, whether herons in Europe naturally host depauperate helminth communities or these communities are depauperate because of other factors is unknown.


PubMed | Helm West Laboratory, Santo Tomás University of Chile, Universitetskaya Embankment 1, University of the Sea and University of Concepción
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Revista brasileira de parasitologia veterinaria = Brazilian journal of veterinary parasitology : Orgao Oficial do Colegio Brasileiro de Parasitologia Veterinaria | Year: 2015

Parasite species are important components of biodiversity, as they provide valuable information about host health, evolutionary relationships, population structures, trophic interactions, the existence of environmental stresses, and climatic conditions. With the aim of describing the parasites associated with parrots of the genus Enicognathus Gray 1840 from central Chile, thirteen austral parakeets, Enicognathus ferrugineus, and five slender-billed parakeets, E. leptorhynchus, were examined between September 2007 and March 2014. The prevalence of ectoparasites and endoparasites was 88.9% and 22.2%, respectively. On eleven of the E. ferrugineus (84.6%) analyzed, and on all of the E. leptorhynchus analyzed (100%), five feather mite species (Pararalichus hastifolia, Genoprotolichus major, Protonyssus sp., Fainalges sp., and Eurydiscalges sp.) were collected. On ten E. ferrugineus (76.9%) and two E. leptorhynchus (40%), the chewing lice Heteromenopon macrurum, Psittacobrossus patagoni, and Paragoniocotes enicognathidis were collected. The nematode Capillaria plagiaticia was collected from three E. ferrugineus (23.1%), and the nematode Ascaridia hermaphrodita was found in one E. leptorhynchus (20%). The presence of C. plagiaticia, Protonyssus sp., Fainalges sp., and Eurydiscalges sp. from the two Enicognathus spp. are new records for Chile and represent new parasite-host associations.


PubMed | University of Rome La Sapienza, Helm West Laboratory, University of Naples Federico II, Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Mezzogiorno and Instituto Of Gestione Della Fauna Onlus Igf
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of helminthology | Year: 2016

The air sacs of free-ranging birds of prey (n=652) from southern Italy, including 11 species of Accipitriformes and six of Falconiforms, were examined for infections with Serratospiculum tendo (Nematoda: Diplotriaenoidea). Of the 17 species of birds examined, 25 of 31 (80.6%) peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) from Calabria Region and a single northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) from Campania Region were infected with S. tendo, suggesting a strong host specificity for the peregrine falcon. The northern goshawk and 18 of 25 infected peregrine falcons showed cachexia and all infected birds had bone fractures. At gross examination, air sacculitis and pneumonia were the most common lesions in infected birds. Microscopically, the air-sac walls showed thickening of the smooth muscle cells, resulting in a papillary appearance, along with hyperplasia of the mesothelium and epithelium, and foci of plasma cell infiltration and macrophages associated with several embryonated eggs and adult parasites. Extensive areas of inflammation were found in the lungs, characterized by lymphocytes, macrophages and fibroblasts surrounding embryonated eggs. The northern goshawk also had detachment of the dextral lung with several necrotic foci. In this case, the death of the bird was directly attributed to S. tendo infection. Lesions and pathological changes observed here suggest that S. tendo can cause disease.

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