Coyotes (Canis latrans) have expanded recently into the eastern US and can serve as a source of pathogens to domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris), livestock, and humans. We examined free-ranging coyotes from central North Carolina, US, for selected parasites and prevalence of antibodies against viral and bacterial agents. We detected ticks on most (81%) coyotes, with Amblyomma americanum detected on 83% of those with ticks. Fifteen (47%) coyotes were positive for heartworms (Dirofilaria immitis), with a greater detection rate in adults (75%) than juveniles (22%). Serology revealed antibodies against canine adenovirus (71%), canine coronavirus (32%), canine distemper virus (17%), canine parvovirus (96%), and Leptospira spp. (7%). We did not detect antibodies against Brucella abortus/suis or Brucella canis. Our results showed that coyotes harbor many common pathogens that present health risks to humans and domestic animals and suggest that continued monitoring of the coyote's role in pathogen transmission is warranted.
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Vol. 51 • No. 3