News

News, video, newspaper articles, press releases, and podcasts about the project.
08/10/2023
Since 2019, the raccoon dog has been listed as an invasive species of Union concern and is suspected of having a negative impact on native biodiversity and endangering human and animal health. In this study, 73 raccoon dogs from Germany were examined for their parasitization and diet. Twenty parasite species were identified, six of which have human pathogenic potential, e.g. Echinococcus multilocularis. Predation on a large number of animals was also demonstrated, including protected species such as the grass frog. In addition, a connection between nutrition and parasitization could be deduced.

Schantz AV, Dörge, DD, Peter N, Klimpel S (2023). The hidden threat: Exploring the parasite burden and feeding habits of invasive raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) in central Europe. International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife 22, 155–166. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijppaw.2023.10.004
08/07/2023
The raccoon, which is invasive in Europe, continues to spread in its new range. As a carrier of various parasites and other pathogens, it is suspected of posing a health risk. With this in mind, 102 raccoons from Baden-Württemberg were examined for intestinal parasites in this study between 2019 and 2020. Four nematode, three cestode and three trematode species were found. Of the raccoons examined, 72.3% were infested with at least one of the parasite species. 6 of the identified parasite species have a human pathogenic potential. These results indicate that raccoons can certainly pose a risk of infection.

Reinhardt NP, Wassermann M, Härle J, Romig T, Kurzrock L, Arnold J, Großmann E, Mackenstedt U, Straubinger RK (2023) Helminths in Invasive Raccoons (Procyon lotor) from Southwest Germany. Pathogens. 12(7):919. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12070919
13/01/2023
234 raccoons (Procyon lotor) from Germany were examined in this study regarding their parasite fauna, revealing a remarkably diverse number of parasite species for the first time. In total, 23 species were identified, of which 5 species were described as human pathogens, and 14 species were reported as new for raccoons in Europe. Among them, the raccoon roundworm Baylisascaris procyonis was the most prevalent parasite, with a prevalence of nearly 95%. Considering the further spread of raccoons, it is expected that future parasitic diseases may occur in humans as well as in wild, domestic, and farm animals.

Peter, N., Dörge, D.D., Cunze, S., Schantz, A.V., Skaljic, A., Rueckert, S., Klimpel, S., 2023. Raccoons contraband – The metazoan parasite fauna of free-ranging raccoons in central Europe. International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife 20, 79–88. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijppaw.2023.01.003