Environmental determinants of the spatial distribution of Alaria alata in Hungary

Z. Széll, Z. Tolnai, T. Sréter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Alaria alata is a potential zoonotic parasite, which is widely distributed in Eurasia. To assess the risk of human infection, it is important to know the spatial distribution pattern of the parasite and factors influencing this pattern. To investigate these relationships, 1612 red fox (Vulpes vulpes) carcasses were randomly collected from the whole Hungarian territory, and the intestines were examined by sedimentation and counting technique. The spatial distribution of the parasite was highly clumped. The topographic positions where the foxes had been shot and the intensity of infections were recorded in geographic information system database. Digitized home ranges of infected and uninfected foxes were analysed on the background of geographic vector data of altitude, land cover types, permanent waters, mean annual temperature, annual precipitation and soil permeability. Multiple regression analysis was performed with environmental parameter values and A. alata scores. Based on the statistical analysis, lack of permanent waters, mean annual temperature, annual precipitation and soil permeability were the major determinants of the spatial distribution of A. alata. It can be explained by the use of biotopes by the intermediate hosts. The lack of permanent waters results in the use of temporary waters by the second intermediate hosts, frogs. The higher temperature, the lower precipitation and the higher soil permeability lead to earlier desiccation of temporary waters, and tadpoles and frogs infected with mesocercariae can be more easily predated by the final hosts (e.g., red foxes). Moreover, temporary waters are more easily contaminated with the faeces of the final hosts containing eggs than permanent waters. Therefore, high infection rate with A. alata can be expected mainly in lowland areas, where the hydrogeography of permanent waters is less complex, the precipitation is lower, the mean temperature and the soil permeability are higher than in highland areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-121
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Volume198
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 15 2013

Fingerprint

Hungary
Vulpes vulpes
spatial distribution
Water
intermediate hosts
foxes
parasites
frogs
Permeability
temperature
Soil
vector data
infection
Parasites
Temperature
Eurasia
biotopes
tadpoles
land cover
geographic information systems

Keywords

  • Alaria alata
  • Environmental determinants
  • Geographic information system
  • Red fox
  • Spatial distribution
  • Vulpes vulpes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • veterinary(all)

Cite this

Environmental determinants of the spatial distribution of Alaria alata in Hungary. / Széll, Z.; Tolnai, Z.; Sréter, T.

In: Veterinary Parasitology, Vol. 198, No. 1-2, 15.11.2013, p. 116-121.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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