ISSN 2398-2985      

Baylisascariasis

6guinea pig

Synonym(s): Baylisascaris, Baylisascaris procyonis helminth infection


Introduction

  • Cause: infection by Baylisascaris procyonis as an aberrant host. The roundworm’s definitive host is the raccoon, Procyon lotor.
  • Signs: cachexia, stupor or hyperexcitability, lateral recumbency, opisthotonos.
  • Diagnosis: usually at necropsy, although possibly serology as is performed in rabbits. History of bedding/habitat contaminated by raccoon feces.
  • Treatment: unknown if ivermectin is effective once neurologic signs develop. May also treat with antibiotics such as chloramphenicol for suspected encephalitis. Supportive care.
  • Prognosis: grave.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Infection with Baylisascaris procyonis Baylisascaris procyonis:
    • Guinea pig is an aberrant host.
    • The roundworm’s definitive host is the raccoon, Procyon lotor.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Ingestion of ova from contaminated environment, feed.

Pathophysiology

  • After ingestion of embryonated ova, parasite larvae migrate through a wide variety of tissues, including liver, heart, lungs, brains, eyes, as guinea pigs are aberrant hosts.
  • Causes multifocal malacia and eosinophilic granulomatous inflammation in the brain.
  • There may be eosinophilic granulomata containing nematode larvae in the lungs.

Timecourse

  • Not known.

Epidemiology

  • Baylisascaris procyonis ova shed in raccoon feces; these are very hardy in the environment:
    • Ingestion of infective (embryonated) ova.
    • Bedding, habitat and even food could become contaminated if raccoons have access to any of these.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Van Andel R A et al (1995) Cerebrospinal larva migrans due to Baylisascaris procyonis in a guinea pig colony. Lab Anim Sci 45 (1), 27-30 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Percy D H & Barthold S W (2007) Guinea Pigs. In: Pathology of Laboratory Rodents and Rabbits. 3rd edn. Eds: Percy D H & Barthold S W. Blackwell Publishing. pp 217-251.

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