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Strongyloides spp. infections of veterinary importance

  • STIG M. THAMSBORG (a1), JENNIFER KETZIS (a2), YOICHIRO HORII (a3) and JACQUELINE B. MATTHEWS (a4)
Summary

This paper reviews the occurrence and impact of threadworms, Strongyloides spp., in companion animals and large livestock, the potential zoonotic implications and future research. Strongyloides spp. infect a range of domestic animal species worldwide and clinical disease is most often encountered in young animals. Dogs are infected with Strongyloides stercoralis while cats are infected with different species according to geographical location (Strongyloides felis, Strongyloides tumefaciens, Strongyloides planiceps and perhaps S. stercoralis). In contrast to the other species, lactogenic transmission is not a primary means of infection in dogs, and S. stercoralis is the only species considered zoonotic. Strongyloides papillosus in calves has been linked to heavy fatalities under conditions of high stocking density. Strongyloides westeri and Strongyloides ransomi of horses and pigs, respectively, cause only sporadic clinical disease. In conclusion, these infections are generally of low relative importance in livestock and equines, most likely due to extensive use of macrocyclic lactone anthelmintics and/or improved hygiene. Future prevalence studies need to include molecular typing of Strongyloides species in relation to different hosts. More research is urgently needed on the potential zoonotic capacity of Strongyloides from dogs and cats based on molecular typing, information on risk factors and mapping of transmission routes.

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Corresponding author
*Corresponding author. Veterinary Parasitology Group, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, 100 Dyrlægevej, DK-1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark. Phone +45 35333778. E-mail: smt@sund.ku.dk
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