Exotis ISSN 2398-2985

Guinea Pigs

Pelodera strongyloides infestation

Synonym(s): Strongyloides dermatitis, Erythematous dermatitis, Pelodera dermatitis

Contributor(s): Cathy Johnson-Delaney, Vicki Baldrey

Introduction

  • Cause: infestation of skin with Pelodera strongyloides, a nematode larva.
  • Signs: pruritus, alopecia, erythema, crusting/scaling.
  • Diagnosis: skin scrapings, skin biopsy, impression smear and cytology.
  • Treatment: systemic ivermectin, fenbendazole, benzoyl peroxide, meloxicam.
  • Prognosis: good if removed from contaminated environment. 
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Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Pelodera strongyloides Pelodera strongyloides a small free-living saprophytic nematode:
    • Belongs to the family Panagrolaimidae within the order Tylenchida (former Rhabditida).
    • May have facultative/opportunistic life cycles.
    • Life cycle is as a facultative/opportunistic parasite.
    • Life cycle is rapid:
      • After mating, gravid P. strongyloides females begin shedding embryonated eggs into the environment from which the first stage larvae (L1) hatch.
      • L1 then molt into L2, L3, L4, and preadult stages (L5) within 4-8 days to complete the life cycle.
    • It is found in the soil and decaying material.
    • Sporadically associated with dermal infections in dogs, cattle, sheep, horses reported in Europe and North America.
    • Has also been reported in harbor seals, brown bear, and in a laboratory guinea pig.
    • Human cases have been reported.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Contact with contaminated soil or decaying material.

Pathophysiology

  • L3 can penetrate the skin, but it interrupts the life cycle since L3 cannot develop further within the skin.
  • Likely the presence of the parasite causes an inflammatory reaction.

Timecourse

  • From contact to onset of clinical signs is unknown.

Epidemiology

  • As noted above, an animal in contact with contaminated soil or decaying material might have skin invaded by the L3 larval stage.
  • Reports of this type of dermatitis caused by this parasite have been reported in other species and humans.

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.
  • Rothig A, Hermosilla C R, Taubert A & Thom N (2016) Pelodera strongyloides as a cause of severe erythematous dermatitis in 2 guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus). J Exot Pet Med 25 (3), 208-212 ExotPetMed.


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