Rendón-Franco, E., Romero-Callejas, E., Villanueva-García, C., Osorio-Sarabia, D., & Muñoz-García, C. I. (2013). Cross transmission of gastrointestinal nematodes between captive neotropical felids and feral cats. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, 44(4), 936-940.
Pathogen cross transmission between wildlife and domestic animals represents an extinction risk for wildlife; however, reliable verification is difficult to perform, and in some cases, it is even considered unlikely to be conducted. The aim of this work was to identify cross transmission of helminths between feral cats and captive wild felids at a zoological park in southeastern Mexico. Feces were collected from jaguars (Panthera onca), cougars (Puma concolor), ocelots (Leopardus pardalis), margays (Leopardus wiedii), and jaguarundis (Puma yagouaroundi). A flotation technique and macroscopic sieving were performed on the feces. Additionally, as part of the noxious fauna control program of the park, feral cats were captured and euthanized. To perform parasitologic studies, helminths from these animals were recovered. Toxocara cati and Trichuris campanula were shared by jaguarundis and feral cats. Ancylostoma sp. was found in jaguar and ocelot and Ancylostoma tubaeforme in feral cats. Additionally, during this study, a couple of jaguarundis died with clinical signs of trichuriasis. This is the first report of T. campanula in jaguarundi. Because feral cats roam freely in the park, transmission could occur from these vertebrates to wild felids. This study shows the risk that parasites represent to wild felids; a similar situation could be found in free-living species, especially in fragmented habitats that favor contact with domestic animals.