Aelurostrongylus abstrusus Homepage
Genus : Aelurostrongylus
The male measures 7.5 mm and the female 9.9 mm. Males have a short bursa and the vulva of the female opens near the posterior end.
Histological section of Aelurostrongylus in lung tissue, cross section of one parasite is shown highlighted.
Adult female worms lay their eggs in the alveoli of the cat's lung. The eggs hatch and the first stage larvae (L1) are carried up the trachea, swallowed and pass out with the feces. The L1 can live for about 2 weeks in the environment. If the L1 find a snail or slug they enter the "foot" where they grow to the infectious third-stage (L3). If a paratenic host eats the snail, the L3 migrate into the tissues of the new host and arrest. Cats are more likely to be infected by eating the paratenic hosts as snails and slugs are usually not part of their diet. The L3 will penetrate the gut wall and migrate through the peritoneal and thoracic cavities to the lung. The larvae will develop to the adult stage and egg laying will begin 5 to 6 weeks after the cat ingested the L3.
Terminal bronchioles and alveolar ducts of the lung.
Common Diagnostic Test:
Fenbendazole (for an extend period of time),
Ivermectin (at a dose of 0.4 mg/kg, may have to be repeated).
© University of Pennsylvania 2004
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