Influence of physical and chemical factors on the embryonation, hatching and infectivity of Spirocerca lupi

Alicia Rojas, Niva Freedberg, Alex Markovics, Yuval Gottlieb, Gad Baneth*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Spirocerca lupi is a parasitic nematode which causes spirocercosis, a severe disease of dogs. Its life cycle involves dung beetles as intermediate hosts and canids as definitive hosts. The effect of different physical conditions and chemical factors on the embryonation and hatching of S. lupi eggs were investigated in this study in order to understand the triggers for progression in the early development of this parasite. Exposure to potassium dichromate significantly enhanced the embryonation of eggs compared to formaldehyde and controls (p < 0.0001), reaching the maximum embryonation level of 83% within 2 days of incubation. Hatching of eggs was significantly (p < 0.05) enhanced in the presence of 2.5% trypsin, pH 6.0 and 8.0, a temperature of 26 °C, 20% CO2 and mechanical force by stirring with 3-mm beads. Dissection of Onthophagus sellatus beetles 8 h post-feeding with eggs showed that 13% of the ingested eggs hatched in the buccal cavity and the midgut. Finally, the pH range of the beetle's gut was 6.0-6.2 compared to 7.2 ± 0.4 in dog feces suggesting that this pH change may induce hatching in the beetle. These findings contribute to the understanding of the early steps in the life cycle of S. lupi and may be used in the future to block the development of S. lupi and prevent dog infection and disease.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages8
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • Eggs
  • Embryonation
  • Hatching
  • Onthophagus sellatus
  • Spirocerca lupi
  • Spirocercosis


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