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Parasite. 2020;27:13. doi: 10.1051/parasite/2020010. Epub 2020 Mar 12.

Epidemiology and hypothetical transmission cycles of Trichinella infections in the Greater Kruger National Park of South Africa: an example of host-parasite interactions in an environment with minimal human interactions.

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Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs, Chief Directorate Veterinary Services, Veterinary Public Health, Private Bag X11309, Mbombela 1200, South Africa - University of KwaZulu-Natal, School of Life Sciences, Westville Campus, Durban 4000, South Africa.
University of KwaZulu-Natal, School of Life Sciences, Westville Campus, Durban 4000, South Africa - One Health Center for Zoonoses and Tropical Veterinary Medicine, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, P.O. Box 334, St Kitts, Basseterre, West Indies.


in English, French

Knowledge on the epidemiology, host range and transmission of Trichinella spp. infections in different ecological zones in southern Africa including areas of wildlife-human interface is limited. The majority of reports on Trichinella infections in sub-Saharan Africa were from wildlife resident in protected areas. Elucidation of the epidemiology of the infections and the prediction of hosts involved in the sylvatic cycles within specific ecological niches is critical. Of recent, there have been reports of Trichinella infections in several wildlife species within the Greater Kruger National Park (GKNP) of South Africa, which has prompted the revision and update of published hypothetical transmission cycles including the hypothetical options based previously on the biology and feeding behaviour of wildlife hosts confined to the GKNP. Using data gathered from surveillance studies and reports spanning the period 1964-2019, confirmed transmission cycles and revised hypothesized transmission cycles of three known Trichinella species (T. zimbabwensis, Trichinella T8 and T. nelsoni) are presented. These were formulated based on the epidemiological factors, feeding habits of hosts and prevalence data gathered from the GKNP. We presume that the formulated sylvatic cycles may be extrapolated to similar national parks and wildlife protected areas in sub-Saharan Africa where the same host and parasite species are known to occur. The anecdotal nature of some of the presented data confirms the need for more intense epidemiological surveillance in national parks and wildlife protected areas in the rest of sub-Saharan Africa to unravel the epidemiology of Trichinella infections in these unique and diverse protected landscapes.


Kruger National Park; South Africa; Trichinella

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