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Zoonotic disease in a European brown hare in England
  1. Alex Barlow and
  2. Liz Mullineaux
  1. APHA Wildlife Species Expert Group, APHA Starcross VI Centre, Staplake Mount, Starcross, Exeter EX6 8PE
  2. Secret World Wildlife Rescue, New Road, Highbridge, Somerset TA9 3PZ
  1. e-mail: alex.barlow{at}

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Calodium hepaticum (previously called Capillaria hepatica), a nematode, is found worldwide but has been only rarely reported in Great Britain. The main hosts of the parasite are rodents, but disease is occasionally reported in other species, including people.

The liver is the main organ parasitised and infection is passed on by predation or scavenging a dead infected host. The last case reported in a European brown hare (Lepus europaeus) in Great Britain was in 1911 by William Nicoll in reporting a case to the Zoological Society of London.1 The clinical signs described the affected hare to ‘pitch violently …

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