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Sarcoptic mange in vicuña (Vicugna vicugna) population in Peru
  1. L. A. Gomez-Puerta, DVM, Mg1,
  2. J. Olazabal, Eng, Mg1,
  3. C. E. Taylor, DVM2,
  4. N. G. Cribillero, DVM1,
  5. M. T. Lopez-Urbina, DVM, Mg, Dr1 and
  6. A. E. Gonzalez, DVM, MSc, PhD1
  1. 1School of Veterinary Medicine, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos,
    Lima, Perú
  2. 2College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA;
  1. Email for correspondence: lucho92{at}

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The vicuña (Vicugna vicugna) is a wild South American camelid (SAC) that inhabits the highlands of South America between 3200 and 4700 m above sea level, and is distributed in the following five countries: Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Ecuador (Marín and others 2007, Wheeler and Hoces 1997). Peru holds the greatest vicuña population with 61.4 per cent of the world's population. Vicuñas are of great economic importance because they produce the finest animal fibre in the world (Wheeler and Hoces 1997, Sahley and others 2007).

Several parasitic diseases have been reported in SACs. Some of them are caused by external parasites such as mites (Ballweber 2009). Currently, three types of mange mites have been reported in the SAC: sarcoptic, psoroptic and chorioptic. Sarcoptic mange is a common parasitic skin disease caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei (Geurden and others 2003, Mellanby 1947). This ectoparasite has a cosmopolitan distribution and can infect a variety of mammals including human beings, domestic and wild animals (Fain 1968, 1978, Pence and Ueckermann 2002). This study reports the presence of natural sarcoptic mange infestation in …

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