The Impacts of Parasite Prevalence on the Diet of the Host

Type of Submission


Campus Venue

Dixon Ministry Center, Alumni Hall


Cedarville, OH

Start Date

4-10-2013 1:00 PM

End Date

4-10-2013 5:00 PM



Raccoons {Procyon Iotor) are the final host for raccoon roundworms (Baylisascaris procyonis) (Page et al., 2005). Raccoon roundworm is the leading cause of a dangerous neurological disease, known as larva migrans encephalopathy (Blizzard et al., 2010). Raccoons are omnivorous animals, and rely on various food items. Page et al. (2011) found that raccoons eat whatever food resource is most convenient and abundant. Raccoons in similar habitats have similar diets, regardless of the geographical closeness of the habitats (Rulison et al., 2012). We analyzed the diets of necropsied raccoon from 10 townships of Clark and Greene counties. We massed the stomachs, and removed their contents. We analyzed the contents to determine whether or not there were vertebrate, invertebrate and plant tissues in the stomach. We recorded these data and classified the material according to class, order and family, when possible. We ran a linear regression model to determine whether or not parasite prevalence is a valuable factor to predict raccoon diet. We found vertebrate tissues had a higher prevalence in townships with higher parasite prevalence. We also determined that some of the variation in prevalence of diet item was accounted for by the variation in parasite prevalence. These results will help us design a plan to reduce the prevalence of raccoon roundworm In Clark and Greene Counties.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Apr 10th, 1:00 PM Apr 10th, 5:00 PM

The Impacts of Parasite Prevalence on the Diet of the Host

Cedarville, OH