Encyclopedia of Parasitology

2016 Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn

Spirocerca lupi

  • Heinz MehlhornEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-43978-4_2943


Greek: speira = winding; kerkos = tail. Latin: lupus = wolf.

Geographic Distribution/Epidemiology

Common parasite of dog, foxes, and wolves, but also in cats and wild canids and felids, especially in warm countries, e.g., Southern Europe, the USA, South America, Asia, and Africa. In some tropical countries, up to 80 % of dogs are infected. Infections due to larvae are common in many vertebrates including humans. A second species (Spirocerca arctica) has been demonstrated in canids in Northeast Europe.

Morphology/Life Cycles

The adult worms appear bloodred (♀ = 5–8 cm; ♂ = 3–5 cm) and live in groups in granulomas of the distal esophagus (and rarely also in the wall of the stomach and upper intestine). Their esophagus is divided into an anterior muscular portion and a posterior glandular region. The males possess caudal wings and two differently sized spicula (2.5 and 0.6 mm). The vulva of the female is found in the anterior region of the esophagus. The females excrete eggs within...
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  1. Austin CM et al (2013) The efficacy of a topically applied imidacloprid 10%/moxidectin 2.5% formulation (Advocate®, Advantage®Multi, Bayer) against immature and adult Spirocerca lupi worms in experimentally infected dogs. Parasitol Res 112:S91–S108CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Further Readings

  1. Aroch LE et al (2002) Evaluation of doramectin for the treatment of the experimental canine spirocercosis. Vet Parasitol 109:65–73PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bailey WS (1963) Parasites and cancer: sarcoma in dogs associated with Spirocerca lupi. Ann N Y Acad Sci 108:890–923PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Kampen H et al (2012) Culicid mosquitoes as vectors of disease agents in Europe. Parasitol Res Monogr 3:1–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Lobetti RG (2000) Survey of the incidence, diagnosis, clinical manifestations and treatment of Spirocerca lupi in South Africa. J S Afr Vet Assoc 71:43–45PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Maziki-Tovi M et al (2002) Canine spirocercosis. Vet Parasitol 107:235–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für ZoomorphologieZellbiologie und Parasitologie, Heinrich-Heine-UniversitätDüsseldorfGermany