Lungworms in ruminants from Brazil: A retrospective epidemiological study over four decades.
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Lungworms such as Dictyocaulus spp. in cattle and small ruminants, and Muellerius capillaris and Protostrongylus rufescens in small ruminants are important pathogens, causing respiratory disease in these livestock species. Despite their veterinary importance, lungworms of livestock have been poorly studied in certain regions of the world, including Brazil. Therefore, much of their epidemiology and economic impacts on production remain unknown. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the historical and current data published on lungworm infection of domestic ruminants in Brazil. This review consisted of a comprehensive search of technical and scientific publications between January 1980 to December 2020, using online sources such as PubMed, Google Scholar and Scielo. Twenty-four articles published over the last 40years reporting lungworms exclusively in cattle (n=16), goats (n=6) and sheep (n=1) in Brazil were included. In addition, a study (n=1) with both goats and sheep were also utilized. Overall, 12 studies were based only on post-mortem examination, five in the detection of specimens in fecal samples, and seven were based on fecal analysis followed by post-mortem examination. Out of all studies, 66.7% (n=16) articles registered D. viviparus, 4.2% (n=1) D. filaria, 8.3% (n=2) P. rufescens, 16.7% (n=4) M. capillaris, and 4.2% (n=1) co-infection by D. filaria and M. capillaris. The existence of suitable environmental conditions, as well as intermediate and definitive hosts in Brazil contribute for the survival and development of these nematode species. The majority of the reports of lungworms originate from the Southern and Southeastern regions of the country, whose mild temperatures likely contribute to their occurrence. Finally, lungworms of ruminants have been reported over the past four decades in Brazil, but most of the information was obtained at post-mortem examination. Therefore, further studies to investigate epidemiological aspects in different hosts and regions of the country are needed.