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Professional Version

Trematodes Causing CNS Disease in Animals

By

Jan Šlapeta

, MVDr, PhD, GradCertEd (Higher Ed), Sydney School of Veterinary Science, The University of Sydney

Medically Reviewed May 2022 | Modified Nov 2022

Paragonimiasis in Animals

Paragonimus westermani and P kellicotti, the lung flukes, have been reported to migrate aberrantly and produce cysts in the brain and spinal cord of pigs, dogs, cats, rats, and humans. Flukes in these extrapulmonary sites in dead-end hosts do not produce patent infections.

Schistosomiasis in Animals

Schistosomes, or blood flukes, typically deposit their eggs in the small vessels of the gastrointestinal tract and urinary bladder, from which they pass into the external environment via the feces or urine. Some eggs, however, may reach the general circulation and the CNS, where they become encapsulated. This condition has been reported in domestic animals and humans.

Troglotremiasis in Animals

Troglotrema acutum inhabits the frontal and ethmoidal sinuses of foxes and mustelids in Europe. Flukes live in pairs in cysts in these sinuses. These parasites cause decalcification and atrophy of the bony sinus walls eventually resulting in penetration of the cribriform plate. Microorganisms enter the cranial vault, leading to fatal, purulent meningitis. No treatment is available.

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