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Cholecystitis in otters (Lutra lutra) and mink (Mustela vison) caused by the fluke Pseudamphistomum truncatum
  1. V. R. Simpson, BVSc, DTVM, CBiol, FIBiol, HonFRCVS1,
  2. L. M. Gibbons, BSc, PhD, CBiol, FIBiol2,
  3. L. F. Khalil, BSc, PhD, DAP&E3 and
  4. J. L. R. Williams4
  1. 1Wildlife Veterinary Investigation Centre, Chacewater, Truro, Cornwall TR4 8PB
  2. 2Department of Pathology and Infectious Diseases, Royal Veterinary College, University of London, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL9 7TA
  3. 3Department of Biodiversity, University of Limpopo, Private Bag X1106, Sovenga, 0727, South Africa
  4. 4Stoford Manor, West Buckland, Wellington, Somerset TA21 9LS

Abstract

Between 1988 and 2004, postmortem examinations were carried out on 445 otters found dead, mostly as a result of road traffic accidents, in southern and south-west England. Thickened, shrunken gall bladders were observed in 10 cases, the first in 2000 and the others between February 2002 and August 2004. A digenean fluke, Pseudamphistomum truncatum, was found in the gall bladders of three cases and also in three of seven American mink examined. Nine of the 10 otters and all the mink came from a localised area of Somerset, indicating that the fluke has become established in the local fish population. P truncatum has not been recorded previously in Britain, and the results suggest that it has been introduced recently, possibly in imported fish

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