Med. Weter. 74 (4), 224-227, 2018

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Sparganosis – neglected zoonosis and its reservoir in wildlife
Emerging parasitic invasions may have a significant influence on wild and domestic animals, as well as humans worldwide. One of the possible sources of infection is the consumption of the meat of wild animals that enable infectious agents to circulate in the environment and transmit them to human and domesticated animal hosts. Human sparganosis is an emerging and neglected zoonosis worldwide. Most cases are known from Asia; however, a few cases have also been diagnosed in Europeans. Recently, in Białowieża Primeval Forest, north-eastern Poland, cases of sparganosis were stated in both intermediate (raccoon dog, badger, wild boar) and definitive hosts (wolf, lynx). Confirmed presence of sparganosis in game species (wild boar) and the possibility of its occurrence in domestic animals (dogs and cats) must be taken into consideration in case this zoonosis is not routinely diagnosed by veterinarians. Plerocercoids in wild boar are located subcutaneously and in muscle tissue. Thus, the emergence of human sparganosis due to consumption of undercooked or smoked wild boar meat is very likely in the areas where wild boar is an approved food source. In this review we describe the biology of Spirometra sp. and the current knowledge about the spread of this tapeworm among wild animals as well as the risk for people, focusing on the situation in Europe. .
Key words: Spirometra sp., sparganosis, wild animals, Poland