Trichinella spiralis Owen, 1835 in American minks (Neovison vison
Schreber, 1777) and wild rodents (Muridae and Cricetidae) in Chile.
Trichinellosis is a worldwide disease that is considered emerging and
neglected. Several hosts have been recognized around the world, however,
there is a lack of knowledge of the role of free-range mammals in Chile.
Herein we examined 555 individuals among American minks (Neovison vison
Schreber, 1777. n = 100) and several myomorph rodent species (Muridae
and Cricetidae. n = 455) from southern Chile with artificial digestion
and molecular analyses. Rodents were captured in agricultural and wild
protected areas, while minks were captured in mixed agricultural and
unprotected wild areas. One rat (0.24%) in the Ñuble Administrative
Region and seven minks (8.2%) in the Los Ríos Region were infected with
Trichinella spiralis Owen, 1835. Our results suggest that native rodents
are of low or null importance in the reservoir of T. spiralis in Chile.
Conversely, our results suggest that T. spiralis is circulating in
minks, but with low prevalence. Further studies are needed to assess
whether minks are maintaining T. spiralis life cycle or are a dead-end
host of this parasite in Chile. This study represents the first record
of T. spiralis in a mustelid mammal in South America, increasing the
number of free-range species that could participate in the reservoir.