Pilo, Cristian and Altea, A. and Pirino, Salvatore and Nicolussi, Paola Sandra and Varcasia, Antonio and Genchi, Marco and Scala, Antonio (2012) Strongylus vulgaris(Looss, 1900) in horses in Italy: is it still a problem? Veterinary Parasitology, Vol. 184 (2-4), p. 161-167. eISSN 1873-2550. Article.
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A post-mortem survey was carried out on 46 Sardinian horses to evaluate the presence of Strongylus vulgaris and associated pathology. Horses were from local farms and had been treated with broad-spectrum anthelmintics at least 3 times a year. Examination of the cranial mesenteric arterial system (CMAS) showed parasite-induced lesions in all horses. S. vulgaris larvae were found in 39% of examined arteries, while their detection rate in coprocultures was 4%. Histology, carried out on 26 horses, showed mainly chronic and chronic-active lesions. Histometry showed a significant increase in thickness of the arterial wall, in particular of the intima tunic and adventitia tunic of the ileocolic artery and its colic branch. MCV, MCHC and alpha2, beta and gamma globulins were increased in horses with S. vulgaris larvae in the arteries, while the albumin/globulin ratio was decreased. Horses that were positive on faecal examination showed decreased values for RBC, PCV and the albumin/ globulin ratio. Although several studies have shown a dramatic decrease of S. vulgaris infection worldwide, our data show that this parasite continues to exert its pathogenic role, even when its detection rate is quite low within the strongyle population infecting horses.
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