Characterization of Onthophagus sellatus as the major intermediate host of the dog esophageal worm Spirocerca lupi in Israel

Yuval Gottlieb*, Alex Markovics, Eyal Klement, Shachar Naor, Michael Samish, Itamar Aroch, Eran Lavy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Spirocerca lupi is a parasitic nematode of dogs, that causes significant morbidity and mortality. Its intermediate hosts in Israel have never been described. The aim of this study was therefore to identify the intermediate hosts of S. lupi in Israel and to describe their abundance and annual infection rate with the nematode, in different microenvironments (i.e., the effects of irrigation and shade) in an endemic area. Dog dung pads were collected every 2 months from two different public parks for 1 year. Dung beetles were identified to the species level in infested dog feces and were examined for the presence of S. lupi larvae through dissection. The Scarabid beetle Onthophagus sellatus was the most abundant dung beetle species in dog dung pads and the only one infected with S. lupi larvae. The minimal period for development of the S. lupi L3 infective stage was 7 days. Significant differences were observed between the two different microenvironments and along the year. The highest risk for infection of dogs with the nematode was during the summer, in an irrigated, shady microenvironment.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)378-382
Number of pages5
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Volume180
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - 25 Aug 2011

Keywords

  • Canine
  • Dung beetle
  • Esophagus
  • Microenvironment
  • Nematode
  • Scarabaeidae
  • Spirocercosis

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