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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

BugBitten Thelazia callipaeda present in raccoons in Japan

In a brand new research by Doi et al., the authors detected an eyeworm in invasive raccoons from the Kanto area of Japan.

Readers within the Kanto area of Japan would possibly wish to maintain a watch out for raccoons… or not. In keeping with a new research by Doi et al. in Parasites & Vectors, the oriental eyeworm (Thelazia callipaeda) has been present in raccoons and Japanese raccoon canine.

This species of parasitic worms belongs to the Thelazia genus, which consists of nematode worms that act as parasites in avian and mammalian eyes—together with these of people—in addition to associated tissues.

Thelazia callipaeda from raccoons and Japanese raccoon dogs

Thelazia callipaeda from raccoons and Japanese raccoon canine. From Doi, Okay., et al. Parasites Vectors 16, 116 (2023).

Hosts of T. callipaeda embody varied wild mammals similar to wolves, crimson foxes and raccoon canine, however are additionally present in home animals similar to cats and canine. There have additionally been human infections—by the 12 months 2000 over 250 circumstances had been reported. T. callipaeda is transmitted by species of fruit flies that ingest secretions from the attention, similar to Phortica variegate. The ensuing an infection is commonly asymptomatic, although it may end up in redness, swelling and extreme watering of the attention, and, in excessive circumstances, even lead to blindness.

Because the colloquial identify would possibly counsel, the parasitic worm is commonly present in far jap international locations, however in recent times it has been present in different areas, such because the United Kingdom, France, Spain and Italy.

Within the aforementioned paper not too long ago printed by Kandai Doi and colleagues, the authors discovered circumstances of it in wildlife of the Kanto area in Japan. The realm is probably the most populated a part of the nation and consists of the town of Tokyo, although woodlands stay within the suburbs, the place potential wildlife hosts of T. callipaeda dwell. Doi et al. particularly took a take a look at Japanese raccoon canine, colloquially generally known as tanuki, in addition to raccoons, an invasive species that was launched within the Nineteen Sixties and Seventies from a mixture of escaping from zoos and being stored as unique pets.

Between January 2020 to December 2021, the authors examined 178 raccoons and 15 Japanese raccoon canine within the Tokyo, Kanagawa and Gunma prefectures for the presence of eye worms, and those who had been discovered had been morphologically recognized as T. callipaeda. In whole, they discovered that 36 of the 178 raccoons (20.2%) had been contaminated, and the authors cut up these specimens into 4 teams based mostly on age and intercourse:

  • Of the juvenile male raccoons 8 out of twenty-two had been contaminated, or 36.4%
  • Of the grownup male raccoons, 13 out of 87, or 14.9%
  • Of the grownup feminine raccoons, 12 out of 51, or 23.5%
  • Of the juvenile feminine raccoons, 3 out of 18, or 13.3%

As for the Japanese raccoon canine, 2 of the 15 Japanese raccoon canine (13.3%) had been contaminated.

Geographical distribution of Thelazia callipaeda-infected animals (red marker) and non-infected animals

Geographical distribution of Thelazia callipaeda-infected animals (crimson marker) and non-infected animals. From Doi, Okay., et al. Parasites Vectors 16, 116 (2023).

The authors additionally took sequences from the T. callipaeda specimens and in contrast the outcomes with printed information. They discovered that “three sequences obtained from raccoons and raccoon canine shared the identical haplotypes as these reported in people, canine, and cats in Japan.”

So, what are the implications of this? Most of the potential hosts of T. callipaeda are sometimes present in woodland settings. Nevertheless, as a species that may additionally thrive in suburban settings, you will need to determine raccoons as a possible provider of the T. callipaeda, and to acknowledge that they could probably play a job in transmitting it to canine, cats, and people.

So, if you happen to dwell in a area the place the eyeworm has been discovered, must you all keep away from potential host animals of T. callipaeda? Properly, if it’s wildlife, you need to anyway. However you shouldn’t have to fret about getting it out of your pets or a neighbor’s cat or canine. In a report from 2015, Otranto and Dantas-Torres counsel that the one solution to transmit T. callipaeda is from these pesky fruit flies touchdown on or round an animals eyes. So, if you happen to’re a proud however involved pet proprietor, you don’t have to fret about cuddling together with your beloved canine or cat.

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