Atlas of livestock parasites
digitized collection of microscopical preparations

Atlas of Parasites Contents Information sources Glossary Administration

Mesocestoides spp.



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Distribution: Worldwide.   

Host: Small intestine of dogs, cats, various wild mammals, and birds with M. corti, M. lineatus, M. variabilis.           

Life Cycle: The life cycle is not completely known. Dogs and cats acquire infections through ingestion of tetrathyridia contained in the tissues of various reptiles, amphibia, birds, and mammal intermediate hosts. Eggs are passed in motile segments in the feces of infected dogs and cats. The frst intermediate host and the form of the frst larval stage of Mesocestoides are unknown. Pre-patent period is 4-10 weeks with patent period of several years. 

Diagnosis: Club-shaped segments are passed in the feces. Eggs are contained in a round parauterine organ at the broad end of the segment. Eggs are rarely found free in the feces of defnitive hosts but would, presumably, be detected by fecal fotation.    

Size: Eggs 30–40µm in diameter              

Clinical features: Infection of the defnitive host with the adult tapeworm is usually subclinical. Fatal peritonitis due to large numbers of tetrathyridia or acephalic metacestodes has been  reported in dogs acting as host to the larval stages.            


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