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Past and present status of poultry parasites in Iceland

TitlePast and present status of poultry parasites in Iceland
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsSkirnisson, K, Pálsdóttir, GR
JournalIcelandic Agricultural Sciences
For centuries flocks of free-ranging hens, Gallus gallus, have been kept on farms in rural Iceland and egglaying hens are occasionally kept in backyards in urban areas. Studies on poultry parasites started in Iceland in the late 1940s, but have been sporadic since the 1970. Recently, 18 birds from nine flocks were examined for endo- and ectoparasites. An eimerid, a nematode, three mites and four mallophagan species were identified. However, altogether, 22 parasite species have been reported from poultry in Iceland; Cryptosporidium, at least three eimerids, two flagellates, six nematodes, five mallophagans, three acarines, a bed bug, and at least one flea species. Haematozoans, trematodes, cestodes, and acanthocephalans have never been detected. Additional dozens of other species parasitize poultry elsewhere in the world, many of them causing severe diseases that demand use of environmentally harmful compounds. Strict import regulations and active surveillance have to
be imposed to prevent the introduction of these parasites into Iceland.
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