Intestinal helminths in Iberian wolves (Canis lupus signatus) from Northwest Spain

Sara Muñoz1, Pedro Luis Ramos2, Elena Carretón3, Alicia Diosdado1, Javier González-Miguel4, Fernando Simón1, Rodrigo Morchón1, *
1 Laboratory of Parasitology, Group of Animal and Human Dirofilariosis, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Salamanca, 37007 Salamanca, Spain
2 Technical Direction, Sierra de la Culebra Regional Reserve, Council of Environment, Junta de Castilla y León, 49071 Zamora, Spain
3 Research Institute of Biomedical and Health Sciences (IUIBS), University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 35001 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
4 Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Agrobiología de Salamanca (IRNASA-CSIC), 37008 Salamanca, Spain

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© 2018 Muñoz et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to the author at the Laboratory of Parasitology, Group of Animal and Human Dirofilariosis, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Salamanca, 37007 Salamanca, Spain; E-mail:



We present a study about helminth parasites in wolf (Canis lupus signatus) from Sierra de la Culebra, a protected area in the Northwest of Spain, where is the largest population of wolves of the Spanish territory and one of the largest in Western Europe.

Materials and Methods:

To this aim, 93 fecal samples were collected during May and June of 2013 using 33% zinc sulphate flotation technique and classified based on their morphology, color, structure and size.


Parasites were present in 66.67% of the samples and classified as Eucoleus aerophilus (50.54%), Strongyloides sp. (27%), Ancylostomidae gen. sp. (19.35%), Toxocara Canis (10.75%), Taeniidae gen. sp. (9.68%), Trichuris vulpis (9.68%) and Toxascaris leonina (2.15%). Their distributions were very heterogeneous with the highest prevalence being in Northwest Spain. These differences found can be attributed to local environmental factors (ambient temperature, humidity) as well as animal feeding and social behavior.


A wide helminthofauna is observed in the studied wolves, similar to other studies carried out in Europe (Estonia, Finland, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden). In addition, this study constitutes the first description of the presence of Strongyloides sp. in Iberian wolf in Spain.

Keywords: Canis lupus signatus, Intestinal helminths, Prevalence, Spain, Wolves, Helmintho fauna.