Opportunistic parasites associated mortality in a nutritionally compromised young wild Bengal tiger

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  • HIRA RAM ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Uttar Pradesh 243 122 India
  • ANIL KUMAR NEHRA ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Uttar Pradesh 243 122 India
  • P S BANERJEE ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Uttar Pradesh 243 122 India
  • RAJAT GARG ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Uttar Pradesh 243 122 India
  • M KARIKALAN ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Uttar Pradesh 243 122 India
  • A M PAWDE ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Uttar Pradesh 243 122 India
  • A K SHARMA ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Uttar Pradesh 243 122 India
  • R K SINGH ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Uttar Pradesh 243 122 India



GI nematodes, Heart worm, Mortality, Panthera tigris, Paragonimus, Tapeworms


Present communication deals with unusual observations made during the post mortem examination of a subadult wild tiger from the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve of Uttar Pradesh (India). Physical examination revealed hide bound condition, dull appearance of body coat, old healed fracture of right radius and septic wound in right forelimb apart from a spine of porcupine piercing the nasal septum causing nose bleeding. Organ-wise inspection revealed presence of Dirofilaria immitis adult worms (n=3) in the right ventricle of the heart, Physaloptera sp. in the stomach, Toxocara cati, Ancylostoma sp., Taenia sp. and Spirometra sp. in the small intestine. Examination of intestinal content revealed eggs of Paragonimus sp. and Trichuris sp. along with large number of Isospora sp. oocysts apart from eggs of Toxocara, Ancylostoma, Taenia and Spirometra. The intensity of worms recovered (parasitic load) from the tiger in the present case was found to be surprising in the sense that despite of specific micro-environment requirement of each parasitic species, host allowed buildup of severe infection of almost all the parasitic genera. This situation might have arisen due to compromised immune status of the tiger due to prolonged starvation because of difficulty in catching the prey. All these parasites are present in the tiger reserve and pose a threat to this priceless animal species, especially if the host is immunocompromised.


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How to Cite

RAM, H., NEHRA, A. K., BANERJEE, P. S., GARG, R., KARIKALAN, M., PAWDE, A. M., SHARMA, A. K., & SINGH, R. K. (2020). Opportunistic parasites associated mortality in a nutritionally compromised young wild Bengal tiger. The Indian Journal of Animal Sciences, 90(4), 543-546. https://doi.org/10.56093/ijans.v90i4.104191