Parasites of the brush-tailed rock-wallaby (Petrogale Penicillata)

Barnes, Tamsin S., Goldizen, Anne W., Morton, John M. and Coleman, Glen T. (2010) Parasites of the brush-tailed rock-wallaby (Petrogale Penicillata). Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 46 1: 218-228.

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Author Barnes, Tamsin S.
Goldizen, Anne W.
Morton, John M.
Coleman, Glen T.
Title Parasites of the brush-tailed rock-wallaby (Petrogale Penicillata)
Journal name Journal of Wildlife Diseases   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0090-3558
Publication date 2010-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 46
Issue 1
Start page 218
End page 228
Total pages 11
Editor Elizabeth S. Williams
Place of publication Lawrence, Kansas
Publisher Allen Press
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Abstract The brush-tailed rock-wallaby (Petrogale penicillata) is listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Parasitic diseases have been proposed as possible contributing factors to the decline of the species, but very little is known about the effects of parasites on this host. This study determined the antibody prevalence of the protist Toxoplasma gondii in a wild brush-tailed rock-wallaby population from three neighboring colonies in southeast Queensland, Australia. Fecal egg and oocyst count, tick count, severity of skin rash, and presence of lice and microfilariae were also monitored during four or five trapping periods over 1 yr. Antibodies against T. gondii were detected in 5% of animals (3/64). Fecal egg and oocyst counts were highly variable, but fecal egg counts were lower in subadult animals relative to adults. Neither fecal egg count nor oocyst count was associated with variation in blood variables or condition index, but a negative association between fecal egg count and oocyst count was observed. Microfilariae (Breinlia spelaea), lice (Heterodoxus octoseriatus), and skin lesions were seen more frequently during the November trapping period. A mite, Thadeua sp., was more likely to be detected in these skin lesions than in skin of unaffected wallabies. Tick (Ixodes holocyclus and Haemaphysalis bancrofti) counts also varied between trapping periods and were lowest in the April/May trapping period. This study provides the most detailed account to date of parasite burdens in a vulnerable macropodid, but no clear evidence emerged linking parasites to adverse impact on the host.
Keyword Brush-tailed rock-wallaby
Fecal egg count
Petrogale penicillata
Toxoplasma gondii
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
School of Veterinary Science Publications
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Created: Sun, 14 Feb 2010, 00:01:19 EST