Ascocotyle longicollis

Ascocotyle longicollis (Kuntz & Chandler, 1956) Soganderes-Bernal & Lumsden, 1963

ETYMOLOGY: The longicollis refers to the length of the elongation of the oral sucker.

SYNONYMS:Phagicola longicollis Kuntz and Chandler, 1956

HISTORY: This parasite was originally described from specimens collected from 22 of 48 cats in Egypt.

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: Egypt.

LOCATION IN HOST: Small intestine.

PARASITE IDENTIFICATION: This fluke is 0.6 to 1.0 mm in length. The oral sucker bears approximately 20 hooklets and leads into the conical prepharynx that is characteristic of this genus. The genital opening is just anterior to the ventral sucker which is at the beginning of the posterior third of the body. Most of the reproductive organs are posterior to the ventral sucker. The paired testes are symmetrical and located at the posterior end of the body.

The eggs are 18 to 20 µm long by 10 µm in width.

LIFE CYCLE: Cats were found to be naturally infected with this parasite. Adult worms were recovered from dogs fed brackish-water fish (Mugil and Telapia spp) containing metacercariae (Fahmy and Selim, 1959).

CLINICAL PRESENTATION AND PATHOGENESIS: Thought to be asymptomatic.

TREATMENT: Probably praziquantel, but not reported.

EPIZOOTIOLOGY: Cats probably become infected by eating raw fish with the parasite. Dogs also seem to serve as final hosts.

HAZARD TO OTHER ANIMALS: None. Although dogs are also infected, the major means of infection is through the ingestion of the fish intermediate host which requires that the appropriate snail also be available. Thus, infection of these other hosts will typically only occur in the wild.

HAZARD TO HUMANS: None. Humans theoretically could become infected if they ingested an infected piscine host.

CONTROL/PREVENTION: Prevention of the ingestion of raw fish.

REFERENCES:

Fahmy MAM, Selim MK. 1959. Studies on some trematode parasites of dogs in Egypt with special reference to the role played by fish in their transmission. Z Parasitenk 19:3-13.

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