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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.
In the present study, samples from raccoons (Procyon lotor) and raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) were examined for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 and WNV infections. Based on molecular and serological data, infestation of these two wild animal species was confirmed. In future investigations, these invasive predator populations need to be monitored, particularly considering their close contact with humans, especially in urban areas, which could pose a challenge to human health by facilitating transmission from animals to humans.

Keller M, Peter N, Holicki CM, Schantz AV, Ziegler U, Eiden M, Dörge DD, Vilcinskas A., Groschup MH, Klimpel S (2022) SARS-CoV-2 and West Nile Virus Prevalence Studies in Raccoons and Raccoon Dogs from Germany. Viruses 14 (11):2559
In recent decades, a rapid expansion of the golden jackal (Canis aureus) into Northern and Western Europe has been observed. In order to assess its potential spread, the authors used an ensemble forecasting approach in a niche modeling study to project the future climatic suitability of the golden jackal’s habitat in Europe. The study’s findings clearly indicate that areas with climatic conditions similar to the current core distribution range of the golden jackal in Europe will significantly expand northward and westward in the coming decades.

Cunze S & Klimpel S (2022) From the Balkan towards Western Europe: Range expansion oft he golden jackal (Canis aureus) – A climatic niche modeling approach. Ecology and Evolution 12:e9141