GNATHOSTOMATOIDEA

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GNATHOSTOMATOIDEA

The Gnathostomoidea is a group of Spirurid nematodes that like Dracunculus have a first intermediate host that is a small copepod crustacean. Unlike Dracunculus, the genera in this superfamily tend to routinely use paratenic hosts for the purpose of completing their life cycle. The fact that the list of potential paratenic hosts is rather large means and the fact that the final hosts in the wild include various carnivores, means that cats are very capable of entering the chain of events that ultimately leads to their infection. The adults of these worms are robust forms that are several inches long and which have spine covered heads that are often embedded within the mucosa of the stomach which is the organ in which they are usually found. Thus, infections in cats can often produce gastritis.

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