Hookworms in cats

Richard Speare Richard.Speare at jcu.edu.au
Sat Apr 22 18:11:27 EST 1995



Lois RIch
Bristol-Myers Squibb
Princeton

asked:

Does anyone know why hookworms are not usually seen in cats?

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In northern Australia, cats are commonly infected with hookworms.  
Autopsy surveys of unwanted urban cats show at least 25% of cats with 
hookworms. Dogs surveyed at the same time often have a higher prevalence 
of hookowrms, approx. 45%.

Differences we have found include:

 1.	Higher intensities of infection with hookworms in dogs than cats;
 2.	Greater diversity of species in cats than dogs.

In north Queensland, dogs are infected with Ancylostoma caninum, and in at 
least one focus, with A. ceylanicum as well.

Cats are infected with A. caninum, A. tubaeforme, A. ceylanicum.

In our area, humans also become infected with A. caninum, with hookworms 
developing to adults in small and large intestines. Some people develop 
eosinophilic enteritis as a result of this infection.

The host-parasite interactions are very interesting and, like anything to 
do with host specificity, totally mystifying.  To test a hypothesis that 
the A. caninum may contain several cryptic species we have started 
using DNA techniques.

I am very interested to know if other parasitologists have found A. 
caninum infecting these 3 host species.


Rick Speare
Department of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
James Cook University
Townsville
AUSTRALIA

Phone:	-61-(0)77-212281
Fax:	-61-(0)77-715032
email:	Rick.Speare at jcu.edu.au





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