We aim to describe the parasitic population in vicuñas from three Andean communities and its relationship with fiber quality using 115 fecal and 22 fiber samples, classified according to sex, age, body condition score, and management system. Coproparasitologic diagnostic revealed that 84.4% of animals presented at least one type of parasite egg/oocyst. Most frequent parasite egg/oocyst were Strongyle-type eggs (54.8%) and Eimeria punoensis (38.3%). Wild vicuñas had a higher prevalence of Strongyle-type eggs (91.4%) than semi-captive (38.8%) animals, and age was significative to Eimeria infection; crias had the highest frequency (100%) when compared to yearlings (84.2%) and adults (49.4%). Larvae identification revealed a strong influence of domestic animals on vicuña parasite community, presenting the first report of Bunostomum phlebotomum and Gaigeria pachyscelis in vicuñas from southeastern Peru. Females had a significantly finer diameter of fiber (13.05 ± 0.73 μm) than males (14.22 ± 1.22 μm), and infection with Eimeria spp. affected negatively fiber diameter and resistance. Our results provide data for disease surveillance and encourage further parasitological studies in vicuñas. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]
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- Fiber quality
- South American camelids