Title : First investigation on alimentary tract parasitic fauna of black-headed gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) in Iran with the first record of Opisthorchis spp in gulls.
Gulls are water birds with a wide distribution worldwide and habitats very close to the human environment. Due to being a migrant and omnivorous diet of these birds, they can contract and transmit many diseases all over the world. This research aimed to investigate the parasitic fauna of the black-headed gulls (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) for the first time in Iran to show the importance of the transmission of common diseases between different species of animals and zoonoses by these migratory birds.
Sampling was conducted during the winters of 2022 and 2023 in the urban areas of Tehran, Iran. A total number of 200 stool samples were collected and stored in 2.5% potassium dichromate and 4°C. The samples were examined by flotation, direct slide from the sample, staining with Modified Ziehl-Neelsen to identify Cryptosporidium spp. and acetic alum carmine staining to identify cestodes. In this survey, 11 species of parasites found were identified by the morphological evaluation. In total, four species of trematodes including Cryptocotyle spp. (2%), Echinoparyphium recurvatum (2%), Echinostoma revolutum (4.5%), and Opisthorchis spp. (1.5%), three species of cestodes such as Diphyllobothrium dendriticum (2.5%), Wardium spp. (0.5%) and Cestode spp. (1%), three species of nematodes include Capillaria carbonis (3.5%), Eucoleus contortus (27%) and Tetrameres spp. (2%) moreover one type of Eimeria spp. (8%) as protozoa were identified. Six species of these helminths were reported for the first time in Iran. The five species were also found for the first time in the black-headed gull. Opisthorchis spp. is identified for the first time in gulls and the second report of this parasite in birds.
Considering the Significance of further investigation of gulls as carriers of new parasitic diseases and to create strategies to minimize these diseases to humans and animals, considering the closeness of the environment of these birds to the human environment.
The wide range of zoonotic parasitic diseases in gulls is also very significant.
In addition, in recent studies, by identifying birds as a new host for Opisthorchis spp. and the importance of this parasite in causing disease in humans, the continuation of research on the transmission of this parasite by migratory birds to new areas is determined.
The images of some parasite eggs are unavailable in the references and are being published for the first time.