ISSN 2398-2950      

Troglostrongylus brevior


Gad Baneth

Ian Wright




  • Phylum: Nematoda
  • Class: Chromadorea
  • Family: Crenosomatidae
  • Order: Strongylida
  • Genus: Troglostrongylus (syn. Bronchostrongylus)
  • Species: Troglostrongylus brevior.


  • Troglodytus - cave dwelling (from Greek).
  • Strongylos - round in (from Greek).
  • The first Troglostrongylus spp was described from the frontal sinus of a leopard, and this is why the term cave dwelling was used for naming the genus.

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Clinical Effects



  • Troglostrongylosis has been described in cats in a variety of climate conditions and mostly in humid conditions where snails and slugs are found.


  • Felids infected with T. brevior shed L1 in their feces. L1 develop in snails and slugs to L2 and infective L3. L3 may infect cats who prey on snails; paratenic vertebrate hosts such as rodents, birds and lizards who maintain L3 live until infecting cats who prey on the paratenic hosts; or infect other snails. Adult T. brevior develop in the upper airways of cats, and may cause respiratory disease.


  •  L1 in cat feces are transmitted to snails, which develop L3 and may infect naïve cats who prey upon snails and paratenic hosts. Direct transmission from infected queens to their kittens via the mammary route is also possible.

Pathological effects

  • Adult T. brevior worms locate in the bronchi and bronchioles of cats and cause upper airway respiratory disease by partially blocking airways and inducing inflammatory responses. Cats may be infected sub-clinically, or develop mild, moderate or severe respiratory clinical signs of dyspnea, cough, sneezing and ocular-nasal discharge. Disease is more severe and potentially fatal in kittens. Kittens with T. brevior infection may develop catarrhal bronchitis and interstitial pneumonia. Cats are often co-infected with another lungworm species such as A. abstrusus or with bacterial or protozoal pathogens which may worsen the clinical manifestations and outcome of disease.

Other Host Effects

  • Wild felids including the European wildcat (Felis silvestris) and Lynx spp have been reported to harbour T. brevior and function as reservoir hosts for domestic cats.


Control via chemotherapies

  • Successful treatment of feline troglostrongylosis has been achieved with a spot on formulation of 0.4% eprinomectin Eprinomectin.

Control via environment

  • Avoidance of exposure to prey and snails.


  • Not applicable.


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Further Reading


Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Morelli S, Diakou A, Colombo M, Di Cesare A, Barlaam A, Dimzas D & Traversa D (2021) Cat Respiratory Nematodes: Current Knowledge, Novel Data and Warranted Studies on Clinical Features, Treatment and Control. Pathogens 10(4), 454 PubMed.
  • Bezerra-Santos M A, Mendoza-Roldan J A, Abramo F, Lia R P, Tarallo V D, Salant H, Brianti E, Baneth G & Otranto D (2020) Transmammary transmission of Troglostrongylus brevior feline lungworm: a lesson from our gardens. Vet Parasitol 285, 109215 PubMed.
  • Brianti E, Varcasia A & Otranto D (2020) Troglostrongylus brevior. Trends Parasitol 37(6), 569-570 PubMed.
  • Salant H, Yasur-Landau D, Rojas A, Otranto D, Mazuz M L, & Baneth G (2020) Troglostrongylus brevior is the dominant lungworm infecting feral cats in Jerusalem. Parasitol Res 119(10), 3443-3450 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Deplazes P, Eckert J, Mathis A, von Samson-Himmelstjerna G, Zahner H (2016) Genus Troglostrongylus. In: Parasitology in Veterinary Medicine. Wageningen Academic Publishers, The Netherlands. pp 318-320.

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