Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Aelurostrongylus abstrusus

Contributor(s): Stephen Barr, Maggie Fisher, Grace Mulcahy

Introduction

Classification

Taxonomy

  • Class: Nematoda.
  • Superfamily: Metastrongyloidea.
  • Genus: Aelurostrongylus.

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Clinical Effects

Epidemiology

Habitat

  • Adults, eggs and L1 in lungs of cats.
  • L1 in feces.
  • L1, L2 and L3 in a wide variety of slugs and snails.
  • L3 in tissues of a number of paratenic hosts, eg rodents, frogs, lizards, birds, that have eaten the slugs or snails.

Lifecycle

  • Indirect life cycle:
    1. Adult. 2. Eggs. 3. L1. 4. L3. 5. Slug/snail intermediate host. 6. Bird/rodent/frog/etc. paratenic host.

Transmission

Transmission to cat

  • By ingestion of slugs/snails or particularly rodent/bird paratenic hosts.

Transmission to intermediate/paratenic host

  • L1 is very active and penetrates the mollusc.
  • Infected molluscs are eaten by paratenic hosts.

Pathological effects

  • The worms and nests of eggs and L1 produce grossly visible grayish foci, 1-10 mm in diameter in the lung parenchyma and these may coalesce forming larger lesions which may develop a caseous center.
  • Subpleural nodules are firm and raised.
  • In heavy acute infections there may be a milky exudate when the lung is excized and pleural fluid may be creamy/white containing numerous eggs and larvae.
  • Histologically there is hypertrophy of the tunica media of small arteries and of alveolar and bronchial smooth muscle.

Control

Control via animal

  • Treatment of affected cat.

Control via chemotherapies

  • Fenbendazole Fenbendazole has data sheet recommendation: 1 ml 70% liquid wormer per 2 kg bodyweight for 3 days (50 mg/kg/day for 3 days).
  • 400 ug/kg ivermectin once has been shown to be effective.

Control via environment

  • Prompt disposal of feces.
  • Dry environment to reduce slug and snail population.
  • Reduce slug and snail population.
  • Prevent cat from hunting.

Diagnosis

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from VetMed Resource and PubMed.
  • Burgu A & Sarimehmetoglu O (2004) Aelurostrongylus abstrusus infection in two cats. Vet Rec 154(19), 602-604.
  • Hamilton J M (1963) Aelurostrongylus abstrusus infection of the cat. Vet Rec 75, 417-422.

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