Date Published: June 13, 2006
Publisher: BioMed Central
Author(s): Rebecca K Davidson, Kjell Handeland, Bjørn Gjerde.
The first report of Aelurostrongylus falciformis (Schlegel 1933) in Fennoscandian badgers is described. Routine parasitological examination of nine Norwegian badgers, at the National Veterinary Institute during 2004 and 2005, identified A. falciformis in the terminal airways of five of the animals. The first stage larvae (L1) closely resembled, in size and morphology, those of Angiostrongylus vasorum (Baillet 1866). The diagnosis for both A. falciformis and A. vasorum is frequently based on the identification of L1 in faeces or sputum. The potential for misclassification of an A. falciformis infection as A. vasorum, where larval identification is the only diagnostic method used, is discussed.
Aelurostrongylus falciformis (Schlegel 1933) is a metastrongyle lung nematode of European badgers (Meles meles) and has been reported in continental Europe [1,2] and Great Britain  but not Fennoscandia. Other lung nematodes seen in European badgers include the metastrongyles Angiostrongylus vasorum (Baillet 1866) [4,5], Crenosoma sp. (Molin 1861) [1-4], Aelurostrongylus pridhami (Anderson 1962) , as well as the trichuroid nematode Capillaria aerophila (Creplin 1839) . A. vasorum is considered to be absent from the Scandinavian Peninsula. However, recently it has been found on the island of Sydkoster off the south west coast of Sweden  close to the Norwegian border. This parasite has its predilection site in the pulmonary artery and right ventricle of the heart. The diagnosis however, as for A. falciformis, is frequently based on the identification of first stage larvae (L1) in faeces or sputum . Crenosoma sp. and Capillaria aerophila infections can be differentiated from those of A. vasorum and A. falciformis on the basis of their typical L1 (Crenosoma sp.) and eggs (Capillaria aerophila).