Speciation of Lungworm in Maine Moose
During 2010-2011 the number of young moose deaths notably increased in Maine. At necropsy, pneumonia and high counts of lungworms were found in several individuals. Dictyocaulus viviparus has been reported in northeastern moose, but other species are known to occur in Europe. The hypothesis that an unusual species of lungworm affects Maine moose will be tested using lungworm samples from deceased moose. Lungworms will be morphologically identified and genomic DNA will be extracted, ITS2 gene amplified and sequenced for comparison to that of known lungworm species. The ITS2 sequence isolated from Moose in Maine was most homologous to D. eckerti and three isolates of Dictyocaulus sp. from red deer in New Zealand, in comparison to that of D. viviparus.