Encyclopedia of Parasitology

Living Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn

Toxocara Species of Carnivores

  • Heinz Mehlhorn
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27769-6_4475-1


Greek: toxon = arch, bow; kara = head. Latin: canis = dog.

Geographic Distribution/Epidemiology

Worldwide, high prevalence rates occur especially in breeds of cats and dogs. Young dogs showed infection rates of up to 80 %, young foxes up to 70 %, while 10 % of older dogs (in towns) were important as permanent egg distributors close to playgrounds. Cats in households and in breeding institutions showed prevalence rates of 40–70 % and thus are also important contaminators of playgrounds in towns or in private gardens.

Morphology/Life Cycles

The carnivores inside houses or those close to houses such as dogs, cats, foxes, and other carnivores are parasitized by several ascarid nematodes:
  1. (a)
    Toxocara canis : These worms are found in dogs and foxes, respectively, in wolves (♀ = 12 cm up to 18 cm; ♂ = 8 cm up to 10 cm long; Figs. 1, 2, and 3); their cervical wings (= alae) (Fig. 3) appear striated and reach a length of about 2.5–3 mm. Alae are not present in larvae.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Further Readings

  1. Fogt-Wyrwas R et al (2013) Intraspecific variation between the ITS sequences of Toxocara canis, Toxocara cati and Toxascaris leonina from different host species in south-western Poland. J Helminthol 87:432–442CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Kochanowski M et al (2013) Analysis of the accuracy and precision of the McMaster method in detection of the eggs of Toxocara and Trichuris species (Nematoda) in dog faeces. Folia Parasitol (Praha) 60:264–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Liu GH et al (2013) The complete mitochondrial genome of Toxascaris leonina: comparison with other closely related species and phylogenetic implications. Infect Genet Evol 21C:329–333Google Scholar
  4. Maizels RM (2013) Toxocara canis: molecular basis of immune recognition and evasion. Vet Parasitol 193:365–374PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Mikaeili F et al (2013) Comparison of six simple methods for extracting ribosomal and mitochondrial DNA from Toxocara and Toxascaris nematodes. Exp Parasitol 134:155–159CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Poeppl W et al (2013) Exposure to Echinococcus multilocularis, Toxocara canis, and Toxocara cati in Austria: a nationwide cross-sectional seroprevalence study. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 13:798–803CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Strube C et al (2013) Toxocara spp. infections in paratenic hosts. Vet Parasitol 193:375–389CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Taira K et al (2013) High infectivity of Toxocara cati larvae from muscles of experimentally infected rats. Vet Parasitol 196:397–400CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für ZoomorphologieZellbiologie und Parasitologie Universitätsstraße 1DüsseldorfGermany