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Pterygodermatites cahirensis (Jägerskiöld, 1909) Barus, Petavy, Deblock, and Tenora, 1996

ETYMOLOGY:Pterygo = wing and dermatites refering to the lateroventral cuticular spines or wings and cahirensis referring to the original description being from cats in Cairo, Egypt.

SYNONYMS:Rictulariacahirensis Jägerskiöld, 1909

HISTORY: This worm was originally described by Jägerskiöld in 1904 in an abstract describing specimens collected from a cat in Egypt, but the name was considered a nomennudum until it was republished in a paper in 1909. For a period of time, it was considered to be a synonym of Rictulariaaffinis Jägerskiöld, 1909, and has also appeared under the name of Pterygodermatitesaffinis. In 1996, Barus et al. reexamined affinis and several other species within the genus Pterygodermatites and determined that cahirensis was a valid species occurring mainly in felids.

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION: This worm has been reported from cats in North Africa and the Middle East (Abdul Salam and Baker, 1990; Dalimi and Mobedi, 1992; Daoud et al., 1988; Jägerskiöld, 1909; Quentin et al., 1976; Witenberg, 1928). The worm has also been reported from cats in India (Arya, 1979 & 1980; Gupta and Pande, 1970 & 1977; Srivastava, 1940)

LOCATION IN HOST: Small intestine.

PARASITE IDENTIFICATION: These are white worms. The females are 8.75 to 13.5 mm long and the maoles are 3.7 to 4.8 mm long. (Jägerskiöld, 1909). The number of lateroventral spines on the male are 96 and the number of cuticular ornamentations on the lateroventral flanges of the female is 126 to 135. The ovoid eggs contain a larva, are thick shelled, and are about 30 m by 40 m. The distictive feature of the worm is the lateral appearance of the sclerotized buccal capsule which can be used to distinguish this species from that of Pterygodermatitesaffinis of the fox.

LIFE CYCLE: The first intermediate host of Pterygodermatitescahirensis is an arthropod, and Quentin et al. (1976) found larvae in the insect Tachydermahispida in Algeria. When these larvae were fed to a young cat, eggs appeared in the feces 38 days later. Witenberg (1928) and Gupta and Pande (1970) found larvae encapsulated in the wall of the intestine and in abdominal mesenteries of lizards. Gupta and Pande (1970) using larvae recovered from these lizards, successfully infected a cat experimentally. Gupta and Pande (1977) using larvae recovered from a naturally infected frog, Ranatigrina, infected puppies and found a prepatent period of 25 to 40 days.

CLINICAL PRESENTATION AND PATHOGENESIS: There have been no descriptions of signs associated with infections of cats with this parasite.

TREATMENT: There have been no attempts at treating infected cats.

EPIZOOTIOLOGY: The life cycle requires an arthropod intermediate host and amphibian and reptilian paratenic hosts. Thus, cats become infected by the ingestion of these hosts.



CONTROL/PREVENTION: Prevention of hunting by cats with a predisposition to prey on lizards and arthropods.


Abdul Salam J, Baker K. 1990. Prevalence of intestinal helminths in stray cats in Kuwait. Pak Vet J 10:17-21.

Arya SN. 1979. Redescription of Rictulariacahirensis Jägerskiöld, 1904 from the cat (Felisdomesticus) from Jodhpur, India. Parasitologia Hungarica 12:87-89.

Arya SN. 1980. First record of male of Rictulariacahirensis Jägerskiöld, 1904 (Nematoda: Rictularioidea) from a cat, Felisdomesticus in India. Ind J Parasitol 4:35-36.

Barus V, Petavy AF, Deblock S, Tenora F. 1996. On Pterygodermatities (Multipectines) affinis and other species of Multipectines (Nematoda, Rictulariidae). Helminthologia 33:93-100.

Dalimi A, Mobedi I. 1992. Helminth parasites of carnivores in northern Iran. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 86:395-397.

Daoud IS, Al Tae ARA, Salman YJ. 1988. Prevalence of gastro-intestinal helminths in cats from Iraq. J Biol Sci Res 19:363-368.

Gibbs HC. 1957. The taxonomic status of Rictulariaaffinis Jägerskiöld, 1909, Rictulaiacahirensis Jägerskiöld, 1909, and Rictulariasplendida Hall, 1913. Can J Zool 35:405-410.

Gupta VP, Pande BP. 1970. Hemidactylusflaviviridis, a paratenic host of Rictulariacahirensis. Current Science 23:535-536.

Gupta VP, Pande BP. 1977. Development of re-encapsulated larva of Rictulariacahirensis in experimental pups. Ind J Parasitol 1:177-180.

Jägerskiöld LAKE. 1909. Nematoden aus Aegypten und dem Sudan (eigesammelt von der schwedischen zoologischen Expedition). Results Swedish Zoological Expedition Egypt and White Nile 1901 (Jägerskiöld). pt 3, 66 pages, 4 plates.

Miquel J, Cassanova JC, Tenora F, Felieu C, Torres J. 1995. A scanning electron microscope study of some Rictulariidae (Nematoda) parasites of Iberian mammals. Helminthologia 32:3-14.

Quentin JC, Seureau C, Vernet R. 1976. Cycle biologique du nJmatode rictulaire Pterygodermatites (Multipectines) affinis (Jägerskiöld, 1904). Ann Parasitol Hum Compar 51:51-64.

Srivastava HD. 1940. An unrecorded spirurid worm, Rictulariacahirensis Jagerskiold, 1904, from the intestine of an Indian cat. Ind J Vet Sci An Husb 10:113-114.

Tiner JD. 1948. Observations on the Rictularia (Nematoda: Thelaziidae) of North America. Trans Am Micro Soc. 67:192-200.

Witenberg GG. 1928. Reptilien als Zchwischenwirte parasitischer Würmer von Katze und Hund. Tierärztl Rundschau 34:603.