University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division of Agriculture
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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of Cytauxzoon felis and gastrointestinal helminth infections in bobcats (Lynx rufus) of Northwest Arkansas, an area known to have numerous cases of cytaux in domestic cats. Sixty bobcat carcasses were collected from trappers located in Mulberry and Decatur, Arkansas. Blood samples from the hearts were used to isolate Cytauxzoon DNA. Next, a polymerase chain reaction ( PCR) procedure coupled with gel-electrophoresis assay for the 18s region of extracted DNA were used to determine the presence of the protozoan in the bobcats at the time of harvest. Out of the 60 bobcats, 54 (90%) were positive for the protozoan’s infection. These findings indicate a large reservoir of Cytauxzoon for possible infection of domestic cats. Along with the detection of Cytauxzoon felis, intestinal helminths of the bobcats were collected and identified. The isolated helminths included Alaria marcianae, Ancylostoma sp., Molineus barbatus, Taenia sp., Spirometra mansonoides, Mesocestoides lineatus, Aonchotheca putorii, Physaloptera praeputialis and Toxocara cati. All helminths found were previously shown to be common in omnivorous and carnivorous sylvatic as well as domestic mammals of the region. It is amazing that bobcats are able to withstand both parasitic infections concurrently, as they roam the forests of Northwest Arkansas.

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