INSTITUTO DE DIVERSIDAD Y ECOLOGIA ANIMAL
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Gastrointestinal parasites in greater rheas (Rhea americana) and lesser rheas (Rhea pennata) from Argentina
MARTINEZ DIAZ R.A.; MARTELLA MB,; NAVARRO JL; PONCE GORDO F.
ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
Lugar: Amsterdam; Año: 2013 vol. 194 p. 75 - 75
Few data exist on the parasites of ratites, especially from regions within their natural range. It is only recently that extensive studies on the parasites of ostriches (Struthio camelus) have been published, mainly from European countries where commercial farming has expanded. Two species of ratites are native in South America: the lesser rhea also known as Darwin´s rhea (Rhea pennata) and the greater rhea (Rhea americana). Both species are considered near threatened by the IUCN and are included in the CITES? Appendices I and II, respectively. Parasitological studies have conservation implications, as they allow us to assess the risk of transmission of pathogens from farmed ratites to wild populations. In this study 92 faecal samples from greater rheas and 55 faecal samples from lesser rheas from different localities in Argentine were analyzed to determine their gastrointestinal parasites. In greater rheas the protozoa (Balantidium coli-like and Entamoeba spp.) and helminths (Fasciola hepatica and Deletrocephalus spp.). The protozoa had not previously been cited as parasites of greater rheas in South America. Cysts and/or trophozoites of B. coli-like were found in 16.3% of the samples, while the prevalence of the remaining parasites was below 10%. Lesser rheas harbored the protozoa B. coli-like, Entamoeba spp. and Chilomastix spp. as well as F. hepatica and nematode eggs and larvae. B. coli-like cysts were found in 20.0% of the samples, while the prevalence of the other parasites remained below 5%. Some of them had not been cited as infecting lesser rheas yet.