Zoonotic ocular onchocercosis by onchocerca lupi

Alicia Rojas*, Fernando Morales-Calvo, Harold Salant, Domenico Otranto, Gad Baneth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The parasitic filarioid Onchocerca lupi causes ocular disease characterized by conjunctivitis and nodular lesions. This nematode was first described in 1967 in a wolf from Georgia, and since then cases of infection from dogs and cats with ocular onchocercosis and sporadically from humans also with subcutaneous and cervical lesions caused by O. lupi have been reported from the Middle East, Europe, and North America. Due to its zoonotic potential, this parasitic infection has gained attention in the past 20 years. Phylogenetic studies have highlighted the recent divergence of O. lupi from other Onchocerca spp. and the importance of domestication in the evolutionary history of this worm. Moreover, the finding of an O. lupi genotype associated with subclinical and mild infection in the Iberian Peninsula, raises important questions about the pathogenicity of this presently enigmatic parasite.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)331-341
Number of pages11
JournalYale Journal of Biology and Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021.


  • Canine ocular onchocercosis
  • Helminthiasis
  • Onchocerca lupi
  • Zoonosis


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