Atlas of livestock parasites
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Hyostrongylus rubidus



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Hyostrongylus rubidus
Red stomach worm

General Description:
The slender adult worms, 0.5 to 1 cm long, are bright red when fresh because of their blood-sucking feeding habits. Typical "strongyle-type" eggs are laid.

Life Cycle:
Stomach worm eggs are passed in the feces. Larvae hatch and develop to the infective, ensheathed third stage in a week. These larvae are not very resistant to cold or drying. After being eaten by a pig, the larvae enter the pits of gastric glands, where they may remain in the histotropic larval phase for 13-14 days. Some larvae will emerge into the lumen of the stomach. Some larvae can remain in the inhibited state in the gastric glands for several months, dilating the glands and forming nodules. Egg laying begins 3 weeks after infection.


Geographical Distribution:

Moderate, primarily by contributing to mixed worm infections, resulting in decreased feed efficiency.

Effect on Host:

The adult stomach worms burrow into the gastric mucosa to suck blood, resulting in hemorrhagic gastritis and ane-mia. Young adult worms in gastric glands cause the formation of nodules which further interfere with gastric function, resulting in diarrhea and dehydration. Low worm burdens frequently occur without signs. Heavy infections cause anemia, weakness and rapid loss of condition. Extreme thirst and failure to gain weight are results of the diarrhea.

Diagnostic Information:
Eggs of the stomach worm resemble those of Oesophagostomum and Trichostrongylus axei. If necessary, positive identification can be made by culturing eggs in feces until larvae can be collected, or by postmortem examination of stomach mucosa.

As the larvae are susceptible to drying, frequent removal of feces and provision of dry quarters are effective control practices. Histotropic stages occur in Hyostrongylus making eradication difficult. Fourth-stage larvae may become embedded in the gastric mucosa. The tissue reacts by surrounding the larvae which results in the formation of nodules. Larvae in the stomach walls of sows are not affected by drugs. Feeder pigs should be checked and treated appropriately for worms to ensure maximal feed efficiency.


Hyostrongylus: adult
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Hyostrongylus: adults in stomach wall
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Hyostrongylus: nodules in stomach wall
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Hyostrongylus: rubidus heamorhagic gastritis
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