Parasitology Research

, Volume 113, Issue 9, pp 3495–3500 | Cite as

An identification key for the five most common species of Metastrongylus

  • Diana GassóEmail author
  • Luca Rossi
  • Gregorio Mentaberre
  • Encarna Casas
  • Roser Velarde
  • Pawel Nosal
  • Emmanuel Serrano
  • Joaquim Segales
  • Pedro Fernandez-Llario
  • Carles Feliu
Short Communication


Species of the Metastrongylus genus, the lung nematodes of pigs that require an intermediate host (earthworm) to complete their cycle, pose a potential risk to both livestock and humans. This parasite which can result in lung pathology and mixed infections with other pathogens (e.g. viruses) can be fatal to pigs. Although this genus is distributed worldwide, there are no classification keys for identifying this common parasite species. In this work, we take advantage of parasitological surveys of wild boar (Sus scrofa) in northern and central Spain and southern Poland to develop a morphological identification key for the five most common Metastrongylus species (Metastrongylus apri, Metastrongylus pudendotectus, Metastrongylus salmi, Metastrongylus confusus and Metastrongylus asymetricus). In addition, we provide the first record of M. confusus in Spain, probably unidentified until now due to the lack of appropriate identification keys. We hope that this user-friendly identification key will enable parasitologists and veterinary practitioners to avoid further misclassifications of Metastrongylus species.


Lung worms Metastrongylus confusus Metastrongylus apri Metastrongylus elongatus Metastrongylus pudendotectus Metastrongylus asymetricus Wild boar 



D.G. is grateful to M.H. Pongiluppi for the plate design. E. Serrano was supported by the postdoctoral programme (SFRH/BPD/96637/2013) of the Fundação para a Ciência ea Tecnologia, Portugal.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diana Gassó
    • 1
    Email author
  • Luca Rossi
    • 2
  • Gregorio Mentaberre
    • 1
  • Encarna Casas
    • 1
  • Roser Velarde
    • 1
  • Pawel Nosal
    • 3
  • Emmanuel Serrano
    • 1
    • 4
  • Joaquim Segales
    • 5
    • 6
  • Pedro Fernandez-Llario
    • 7
  • Carles Feliu
    • 8
  1. 1.Servei d’Ecopatologia de Fauna Salvatge (SEFaS), Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia Animals, Facultat de VeterinàriaUniversitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Dipartimento de Produzioni Animali, Epidemiologia ed EcologiaUniverstità di TorinoTorinoItaly
  3. 3.Departament of Zoology and EcologyUniversity of Agriculture in KrakowKrakówPoland
  4. 4.CESAM, Departamento de BiologiaUniversidade de AveiroAveiroPortugal
  5. 5.Departament de Sanitat i d’Anatomia Animals, Facultat de VeterinàriaUniversitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)BarcelonaSpain
  6. 6.Centre de Recerca en Sanitat Animal (CreSA), Departament de Sanitat i d’Anatomia Animals, Facultat de VeterinàriaUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  7. 7.Cátedra de Biología y Etología, Facultad de VeterinariaUniversidad de ExtremaduraCáceresSpain
  8. 8.Department de Microbiologia i Parasitologia, Facultat de FarmàciaUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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