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Linguatula serrata (PENTASTOMIDA: LINGUATULIDAE) INFECTION IN DOG, ROMANIA: A CASE REPORT

Published in AgroLife Scientific Journal, Volume 5, Number 2
Written by Mariana IONIŢĂ, Ioan Liviu MITREA

Linguatula serrata (Pentastomida: order Porocephalida, family Linguatulidae) is a cosmopolitan parasite inhabiting as adults the nasal passages and frontal sinuses of wild and domestic canids (dogs, foxes), which serve as definitive hosts. Cattle, sheep, goats, camels, rabbits, and other animals serve as intermediate hosts, in which fully developed nymphs, the parasitic stage infective for carnivores, are found encysted mainly in the mesenteric lymph nodes, lungs, liver, or serous membranes. Although man is accidental/aberrant host, the reports of human infection with this parasite, as visceral or nasopharyngeal (“Halzoun” or “Marrara syndrome”) linguatulosis is not uncommon, particularly in the Middle East where high infection rates are registered. Here we report a case of Linguatula serrata infection in a dog rescued from a suburban area, in southern Romania. The dog was an approximately 6- months-old male of mixed breed which had a history of free-roaming life and which had been rescued by the dog owner in late November, 2012. Several months later, on March 2013, about few days after a treatment with a macrocylic lactone (ivermectine), the dog had expelled by sneezing several worm-like parasites. The parasite specimens were morphologically identified as adults of L. serrata. The epidemiological aspects of linguatulosis and potential risks of public health and veterinary concern are discussed.

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