We evaluated the small intestines of 123 gray wolves (Canis lupus) that were collected from Idaho, USA (n=63), and Montana, USA (n=60), between 2006 and 2008 for the tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus. The tapeworm was detected in 39 of 63 wolves (62%) in Idaho, USA, and 38 of 60 wolves (63%) in Montana, USA. The detection of thousands of tapeworms per wolf was a common finding. In Idaho, USA, hydatid cysts, the intermediate form of E. granulosus, were detected in elk (Cervus elaphus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), and a mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus). In Montana, USA, hydatid cysts were detected in elk. To our knowledge, this is the first report of adult E. granulosus in Idaho, USA, or Montana, USA. It is unknown whether the parasite was introduced into Idaho, USA, and southwestern Montana, USA, with the importation of wolves from Alberta, Canada, or British Columbia, Canada, into Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA, and central Idaho, USA, in 1995 and 1996, or whether the parasite has always been present in other carnivore hosts, and wolves became a new definitive host. Based on our results, the parasite is now well established in wolves in these states and is documented in elk, mule deer, and a mountain goat as intermediate hosts.
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Vol. 45 • No. 4