A review of the occurrence and clinical consequences of protozoan infections in carnivorous fur farm animals
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University of Life Sciences-SGGW, Institute of Veterinary Medicine, Warsaw, Poland
Maciej Klockiewicz   

Warsaw Univesristy of Life Sciences Institute of Veterinary Medicine, Ciszewskiego 8, 02-786, Warsaw, Poland
Introduction and Objective:
The aim was to review available data concerning the occurrence of protozoan parasites affecting carnivorous fur farm animals, such as: American mink, blue and silver foxes, and raccoon dogs. Although, many protozoan pathogens have been isolated in wild fur animals, some are still not recognised as relevant to particular fur farm animal species. Protozoans that have been isolated as causative agents of clinical cases and reported in these animals are: Cryptosporidium spp., Eimeria spp., Isospora spp., Leishmania infantum, Neospora caninum, Sarcocystis spp., and Toxoplasma gondii. Unfortunately, in most reports, neither clinical symptoms nor detailed pathogenicity and clinical pathology are satisfactory discriminated. This data is essential for preparing treatment and preventive measure protocols. Additionally, attempts to better understand the infections might be useful in the case of outbreaks.

The results of the literature research revealed that some detected infections may have zoonotic potential, and are quite likely to be transmitted in both directions. The role of vectors, e.g. small rodents, birds, insects (sand-flies), or pets (cats and dogs), which might be involved in the transmission of various parasitic infections, is also discussed. The summarized list of protozoans involved can be used for further studies on the health and welfare aspects of fur farm animal breeding and public health issues.

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