Background: Thelazia callipaeda is a nematode of the sucking nematode genus of the sucking family, with Amiota okadai as the intermediate host and vector in China. China has the largest number of cases of thelaziosis in humans in the world. It is generally believed that domestic animals (dogs and cats) are the most important reservoir host of Thelazia callipaeda and directly threaten humans. At present, there is not much research and attention on the role of wildlife in the transmission cycle of thelaziosis in wildlife home range.
Methods: During 2016-2019, we selected four wildlife national nature reserve across the country as monitoring points for Amiota okadai and wildlife. And we chose to use fly-trap method for monitoring Amiota okadai density. Morphological analysis of the parasites collected from the conjunctival sac of the wildlife was taken as the first step, and a specific PCR was used for exact confirmation.
Results: In 2019, the density of Amiota okadai in Foping National Nature Reserve, in China, increased sharply and infected Amiota okadai were newly found in wildlife home range. And it was newly found that wild giant pandas, wild boars, leopard cats, black bears were infected with Thelazia callipaeda. A total of 4 nematodes were collected. The morphologic characteristics of the nematode led to its identification as Thelazia callipaeda, which was molecularly confirmed by a specific PCR amplification.
Conclusions: This is the first time in China that Amiota okadai has been reported to be infected with Thelazia callipaeda in wildlife home range, while a variety of wildlife, including wild giant pandas, have been infected. This suggests that there has been a transmission cycle of thelaziosis among wildlife in wildlife home range. This has undoubtedly increased the risk of infection of Thelazia callipaeda in villagers around wildlife home range.