Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Toxascaris leonina

Synonym(s): T. leonina, Roundworm

Contributor(s): Stephen Barr, Peter Irwin, Ian Wright

Introduction

Classification

Taxonomy

  • Phylum: Nematoda.
  • Class: Secernentea.
  • Order: Ascaridida.
  • Family: Toxocaridae.
  • Genus: Toxascaris.
  • Species: Leonina.

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Clinical Effects

Epidemiology

Habitat

  • Adults in the intestine of dogs, cats, foxes and related wild animals.
  • L2 in paratenic hosts such as rodents, lagomorphs, etc.
  • Eggs in the environment.

Lifecycle

  • See lifecycle diagram Lifecycle Toxascaris leonina - diagram
    • Adults.
    • L2.
    • Eggs.
    • Paratenic hosts.

Transmission

  • Infection is by ingestion of infective eggs in kennels and in the soil of runs.
  • Paratenic hosts containing L2 also are important as a source of infection for dogs that hunt.

Pathological effects

  • Undoubtedly produces intestinal changes similar to T. canis - villous atrophy, increased goblet cells, hypertrophy of the muscle layers etc.
  • As infections usually are light, T. leonina usually does not cause ill health.

Control

Control via animal

  • Anthelmintic treatment.
  • The anthelmintics used for T. canis all are effective against T. leonina so no additional treatment is required.

Control via chemotherapies

Control via environment

  • The eggs are very resistant but will be killed by desiccation at high temperatures.
  • Reduction of dog fouling, covering of sandpits/boxes when not in use.

Vaccination

  • None available.

Diagnosis

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from VetMed Resource and PubMed.
  • Bowman D D (1987) Diagnostic morphology of four larval ascaridoid nematodes that may cause visceral larva migrans -Toxascaris leonina, Baylisascaris procyonis, Lagochilascaris sprenti, and Hexametra leidyi. J Parasitol 73, 1198-1215.

Other sources of information

  • Smith G & Schad G (1998) The prevalence of gastrointestinal nematode parasites in well cared for pet dogs in the East Coast of the USA. Proc Am Assoc Vet Parasitol. 43rd Annual Meeting, Baltimore.

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