The brush-tailed rock-wallaby (Petrogale penicillata) is listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Parasitic diseases have been proposed as possible contributing factors to the decline of the species, but very little is known about the effects of parasites on this host. This study determined the antibody prevalence of the protist Toxoplasma gondii in a wild brush-tailed rock-wallaby population from three neighboring colonies in southeast Queensland, Australia. Fecal egg and oocyst count, tick count, severity of skin rash, and presence of lice and microfilariae were also monitored during four or five trapping periods over 1 yr. Antibodies against T. gondii were detected in 5% of animals (3/64). Fecal egg and oocyst counts were highly variable, but fecal egg counts were lower in subadult animals relative to adults. Neither fecal egg count nor oocyst count was associated with variation in blood variables or condition index, but a negative association between fecal egg count and oocyst count was observed. Microfilariae (Breinlia spelaea), lice (Heterodoxus octoseriatus), and skin lesions were seen more frequently during the November trapping period. A mite, Thadeua sp., was more likely to be detected in these skin lesions than in skin of unaffected wallabies. Tick (Ixodes holocyclus and Haemaphysalis bancrofti) counts also varied between trapping periods and were lowest in the April/May trapping period. This study provides the most detailed account to date of parasite burdens in a vulnerable macropodid, but no clear evidence emerged linking parasites to adverse impact on the host.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 46 • No. 1