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What do we know about parasites of wildlife in high biodiversity areas with anthropogenic disturbance? The special case of Mexico

  • C. I. Muñoz-García (a1) (a2), E. Berriatua (a1) and C. Martínez-Carrasco (a1)


The continual rise of anthropogenic disturbance of ecosystems has been associated with an increasing incidence of emerging diseases. The largest amount of data on emerging diseases relates to bacterial and viral pathogens, but there is a lack of parasite data, especially from wildlife. Monitoring wildlife parasitic diseases should be considered a priority, especially in high biodiversity regions with strong anthropogenic impacts, like Mexico, where the wildlife/livestock/human interface is associated with increased risk of disease transmission. Mexico belongs to the top-ten megadiverse countries and is located between two biogeographic regions. This situation makes Mexico a favourable region for the spillover of animal pathogens to human beings, causing pandemics, such as the one recently caused by influenza virus A (H1N1). The current state of knowledge of Mexican wildlife parasites is scarce and focuses mainly in Neotropical fauna. Moreover, this knowledge is heterogeneous for different parasite groups, especially concerning their pathologic effects and epidemiology. The goals of this review are to compile information on Mexican wildlife parasites and to identify knowledge gaps in order to stimulate research on pending epidemiological, public health, ecological and pathological areas, and to encourage the creation of more specialized groups from the perspective of the One-Health concept.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: C. I. Muñoz-García, Departamento de Sanidad Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, Regional Campus of International Excellence “Campus Mare Nostrum”, Universidad de Murcia, 30100 Murcia, Spain. E-mail:


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