Atlas of livestock parasites
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Spirometra spp.



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"zipper tapeworm"           

Distribution: Spirometra mansonoides occurs in North and South America, and S. erinaceieuropaei occurs in Europe and Asia.     

Host: Small intestine of cats, dogs, and wild animals.      

Life Cycle: Dogs and cats acquire infections by the ingestion of frogs, snakes, rodents, or birds containing plerocercoids (known as spargana). Eggs passed in the feces of dogs and cats hatch coracidia, which are eaten by freshwater copepods and develop into procercoids. The second intermediate hosts (frogs, snakes, etc.) acquire plerocercoids by feeding on the copepods.             

Diagnosis: The yellow-brown eggs can be detected in feces using a sedimentation technique but are also often recovered in fotation procedures. Lengths of reproductively spent segments are occasionally passed in the feces.  

Size: Eggs 65–70 × 35–37 µm     

Clinical features: Infections in the defnitive hosts are usually subclinical. Cats can also serve  as a paratenic host, with plerocercoids surviving in various tissues (sparganosis) and causing clinical sign depending on their location.


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