Two hundred and six samples of alpine marmot (Mamota marmota) hair (148 from adults and 58 from young subjects), 102 soil samples from the entrances to the burrows of the above individuals and 20 control specimens (obtained from adjoining areas away from the burrow systems where the rodents are not usually present) were examined from May 1994 to September 1997. Seventy-five isolates belonging to six species of dermatophytes were found in 69 of the 206 hair samples examined (33.5%). Two species were zoophilic, Microsporum canis (7.8%) and Trichophyton mentagrophytes (11.2.%), and four geophilic, Microsporum cookei (2%), M. gypseum (5.8%), Trichophyton ajelloi (3.9%) and T terrestre (5.8%). The prevalence of each species in the hair samples did not change significantly according to year, season (chi-squared test [limit significance: P <0.05] gives no significant values [P>0.05] both in year and in season comparison) or age/sex (adult versus juvenile: P=0.1; male versus female: P=0.8) of the marmot. Twenty-three of the 102 soil samples (22.5%) were positive for dermatophytes found in the hair of marmots from the same burrow systems. Five of the 20 control soil samples (25%) were positive for dermatophytes. One isolate of M. gypseum, three of T. terrestre and one of T. mentagrophytes were obtained. Compared with other free-ranging rodent hosts studied in Europe, this mycoflora is characterized by the presence and relatively high prevalence of M. canis, frequently reported in symptomatic and asymptomatic cats, dogs and fur animals. M. canis has not been isolated in other rodents in the wild. However, it has recently been reported in asymptomatic foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from northern Italy. The close link between V. vulpes and M. marmota, with the former representing the most important mammal predator of the latter in the Alps (only a fraction of the predator's attacks result in the death of the rodent) may have favoured the adaptation of M. canis to this rodent host. The stable character of the M. canis/M. marmota relationship (no seasonally or annually related difference in the prevalence of this dermatophyte has been found) suggests the inclusion of the alpine marmot in the reservoir of this zoophilic pathogenic agent. In this situation, hibernation in labyrinthine burrow systems, where temperature and moisture ranges are quite uniform the whole year round, may favour the viability of M. canis arthroconidia, whose survival in mountain habitat might otherwise be compromised. This seems to be confirmed by the fact that the fungus has never been found in the control samples collected at a distance of 300 in from the outer edge of the sampled burrow systems.
|Titolo:||Seasonal 4-year investigation into the role of the alpine marmot (Marmota marmota) as a carrier of zoophilic dermatophytes|
|Autori interni:||LANFRANCHI, PAOLO (Secondo)|
|Parole Chiave:||Alpine marmot; Burrow soil; Dermatophytes; Microsporum canis; Zoonotic agents|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore VET/06 - Parassitologia e Malattie Parassitarie degli Animali|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2005|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1080/13693780400008282|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|