Date of this Version
Journal of Wildlife Diseases (2008) 44(1): 16-27.
Parelaphostrongylus andersoni is considered a characteristic nematode infecting white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Host and geographic distribution for this parasite, however, remain poorly defined in the region of western North America. Fecal samples collected from Columbia white-tailed deer (O. v. leucurus) in a restricted range endemic to Oregon and Washington, USA, were examined for dorsal-spined larvae characteristic of many protostrongylid nematodes. Multilocus DNA sequence data (internal transcribed spacer 2 and cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1) established the identity and a new record for P. andersoni in a subspecies of white-tailed deer previously unrecognized as hosts. Populations of P. andersoni are now recognized along the basin of the lower Columbia River in Oregon and Washington and from south-central Oregon on the North Umpqua River. Current data indicate a potentially broad zone of sympatry for P. andersoni and Parelaphostrongylus odocoilei in the western region of North America, although these elaphostrongylines seem to be segregated, respectively, in white-tailed deer or in black-tailed and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) at temperate latitudes. The geographic range for P. andersoni in white-tailed deer is extended substantially to the west of the currently defined limit in North America, and we confirm an apparently extensive range for this elpahostrongyline. These observations are explored in the broader context of host and geographic associations for P. andersoni and related elaphostrongylines in North American cervids.