Helminth parasites of the raccoon (Procyon lotor) from Tennessee and Kentucky


From December 1980 through November 1981, 145 raccoons (Procyon lotor) from Land Between The Lakes in Stewart County, Tennessee, and Lyon and Trigg counties, Kentucky, were examined for helminth parasites. Diaphragms were examined for Trichinella spiralis and gastrointestinal tracts for other helminth parasites. Ten species were found including 7 nematodes (T. spiralis, Physaloptera rare, Arthrocephalus lotoris, Molineus barbatus, Baylisascaris procyonis, Gnathostoma procyonis, Dracunculus insignis), 2 cestodes (Mesocestoides variabilis, Atriotaenia procyonis), and 1 acanthocephalan (Macracanthorhynchus ingens). Dracunculus insignis is reported from Tennessee and Kentucky raccoons for the first time. Of the parasites detected, only T. spiralis showed a statistically significant preference for one sex (male) over the other. It was also the only parasite found in greater prevalence in relation to age classes (highest in age classes III and IV). Arthrocephalus lotoris, M. barbatus, B. procyonis, M. ingens, and D. insignis all had seasonal trends in prevalence, and winter intensity of parasites was found to be most similar to that of spring, spring to summer, and summer to fall.

Publication Title

Journal of Parasitology