A total of 100 specimens of the European shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis aristotelis were examined for anisakid infections in the south-east North Atlantic. The taxonomic status of the anisakid nematodes was studied by structural analysis using light and scanning electron microscopy. Two species, Contracaecum septentrionale and C. rudolphii A (Nematoda: Ascaridoidea), occurred in the European shag with high values of prevalence and mean intensities of infection. These constitute new host records for both parasites, widening their known geographical distribution. Although the histopathology associated with the infections indicated that the anisakids did not have the potential to cause bird death, the parasites are capable of contributing to and hastening avian mortality in the case of heavily-parasitized cormorants and when stressed by xenobiotics and/or through a synergetic effect by other bioagressors.
Sanmartín, M.L., Cordeiro, J.A., Alvarez, M.F. and Leiro, J., 2005. Helminth fauna of the yellow-legged gull Larus cachinnans in Galicia, north-west Spain. Journal of Helminthology, 79(04), pp.361-371.
Thirty-six helminth species were found in 324 gulls examined during June 1994 to February 1996 from different localities of Galicia: 25 trematodes (Brachylaima sp., Brachylecithum microtesticulatum, Cardiocephaloides longicollis, Cryptocotyle lingua, Cryptocotyle concavum, Diplostomum spathaceum, Echinostephilla virgula, Galactosomum phalacrocoracis, Gigantobilharzia acotylea, Gymnophallus deliciosus, Gynaecotyla longiintestinata, Himasthla elongata, Himasthla quissetensis, Knipowitschiatrema nicolai, Levinseniella (Levinseniella) propinqua, Maritrema gratiosum, Maritrema linguilla, Microphallus primas, Microphallus similis, Ornithobilharzia canaliculata, Parorchis acanthus, Phagicola minuta, Psilostomum brevicolle, Renicola sp. and Stephanoprora denticulata), four cestodes (Alcataenia micracantha, Microsomacanthus ductilis, Tetrabothrius (Oriana) erostris and Wardium cirrosa), six nematodes (Anisakis simplex, Contracaecum rudolphii, Cosmocephalus obvelatus), Eucoleus contortus, Paracuaria adunca and Tetrameres (Tetrameres) skrjabini) and one acanthocephalan (Arhythmorhynchus longicollis). Tetrabothrius erostris was the most prevalent species (79.6%), followed by C. obvelatus (47.8%), C. lingua (37.4%), G deliciosus (30.9%), G. longiintestinata (22.8%), P. adunca (21.9%), B. microtesticulatum (17.6%), E. contortus (14.5%) and M. similis (9.3%). Microphallus similis was the dominant species, with a Berger-Parker index (BP) of 0.32, followed by T. erostris (BP=0.10). All species presented an aggregated dispersion except G. acotylea and G. phalacrocoracis, which showed a random dispersion. Species that seem to have the greatest predilection for specific sites along the intestine are: C. longicollis and A. micracantha (first third), Brachylaima sp., M. similis and G. longiintestinata (last third) and A. longicollis (second half). Eight species are known to be pathogenic to commercially important fish or molluscan species and several are pathogenic to humans.
Álvarez, M.F., Cordeiro, J.A., Leiro, J.M. & Sanmartín, M.L., 2006. Influence of host age and sex on the helminth fauna of the yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis) in Galicia (northwestern Spain). Journal of Parasitology, 92(3), pp.454-458.
We studied the influence of host age and sex on the helminth fauna of 324 Larus michahellis captured in different locations in the region of Galicia (northwestern Spain). Gulls were grouped into prefledglings, first-year immature birds, second- and third-year immature birds, and adults. Second-year, third-year, and adult birds were grouped by sex. Thirty-six helminth species were recorded. Total species richness and mean infracommunity species richness were both significantly lower for prefledglings than for the other age groups. Prevalence increased significantly with age for Brachylecithum microtesticulatum, probably reflecting changing feeding habits. Likewise, 8 species (Cardiocephaloides longicollis, Microphallus similis, Maritrema gratiosum, Gynaecotyla longiintestinata, Brachylecithum microtesticulatum, Himasthla elongata, Parorchis acanthus, and Renicola sp.) were absent or had very low prevalence in prefledglings. At least 5 of these 8 species are transmitted to gulls through ingestion of molluscs or crustaceans, which suggests that these types of prey are seldom fed to prefledglings. In Gymnophallus deliciosus, G. longiintestinata, and Cosmocephalus obvelatus, mean intensity, and in the latter case prevalence, declined with age, suggesting that protective immunity against these species increase with age. Only G. deliciosus, Microphallus similis, and G. longiintestinata presented significant differences between the sexes.