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Gnathostomaprocyonis and other Gnathostoma spp.

Gnathostomaprocyonis was described from raccoons in Texas, USA, by Chandler (1942); the life cycle was described by Ash (1962a&b). Ash (1962b) experimentally infected seven kittens with larvae from naturally infected snakes. Only a single larva was recovered from the diaphragm of kitten necropsied six days after infection. Two adult cats were examined three and four months after infection, and no worms were found in these cats. It thus appears that this species does not infect cats.

Kirkpatrick et al. (1987) described a case of gastric gnathostomiasis in a cat from Pennsylvania, USA. This was a ten-year-old domestic cat that had a brief history of listlessness and inappetance accompanied by bouts of diarrhea. An abdominal mass was revealed by palpation and radiography, and an exploratory laparotomy revealed that there was a mass about 3 cm in diameter on the stomach wall. The mass was found to contain a single 1 cm long female gnathostome. The worm was a young adult, and the contained eggs were misshapen and possibly unfertilized. These authors hypothesized that the worm was a species that would typically be found in some wild mammal in North America.


Ash LR. 1962a. Development of Gnathostomaprocyonis Chandler, 1942, in the first and second intermediate hosts. J Parasitol 48:298-305.

Ash LR. 1962b. Migration and development of Gnathostomaprocyonis Chandler, 1942, in mammalian hosts. J Parasitol 48:306-313.

Chandler AC. 1942. The helminths of raccoons in east Texas. J Parasitol 28:255-268.

Kirkpatrick CE, LoK JB, Goldschmidt MK, Mellman SL. 1987. Gastric gnathostomiasis in a cat. J AM Vet Med Assoc 190:1437-1439.