Parasites In wolf Scat collected from the Kaien Island wolf pack

wolf scat

We got the results back from the wolf scat that we collected from the Kaien island wolf pack. The wolf pack consists of 8 to 9 wolves and maybe a few loners. The scat that was collected was sent to University of Saskatewan for testing. Heather Bryan of the Raincoast Conservation Foundation emailed us the results.

We detected at least 5 genera of parasite in 9 scats (1 scat wasn’t tested, as it was mostly hair).

Tapeworm eggs (Taeniids) were detected in 3 scats. Unfortunately, we can’t identify these tapeworms below the family level, as their eggs are very similar. However, they could be either from the genus Taenia or Echinococcus. Echinococcus is an important health concern for human, who can be infected by contact with contaminated faeces. We’ve sent samples of these eggs to Australia for genetic analysis. Hopefully that will tell us if there is Echinococcus in these samples. It is likely that wolves get this tapeworm by eating deer.

Five samples had oocysts of the protozoan parasite Sarcocystis. This parasite has no known implications for human health, but it can infect dogs. Wolves become infected with this parasite by eating deer.

The other parasites we detected in one sample each and include: a roundworm in the family Spiroidea, a fluke in the genus Metorchis, and an unknown roundworm larvae with a dorsal spine. Wolves might have beeen infected with Metorchis by eating fish. Metorchis can also be of concern to humans who eat raw fish.

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