Severe sparganosis in Australian treefrogs

Berger, Lee, Skerratt, Lee F., Zhu, Xing-Quan, Young, Sam, and Speare, Rick (2009) Severe sparganosis in Australian treefrogs. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 45 (4). pp. 921-929.

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Spargana of Spirometra erinacei infect many vertebrate species, but severe disease from sparganosis has been reported from few host species. Information on the effects of this common, introduced tapeworm of cats on Australian frogs is lacking. Our survey to detect significant diseases in free-ranging amphibians in eastern Australia between 1993 and 2000 revealed that infection with spargana (plerocercoids) of S. erinacei occurred in 12/243 (4.9%) sick frogs. Infections occurred in skeletal muscle and subcutis, especially the thighs, of large adults of Litoria caerulea, Litoria aurea, Litoria gracilenta, and Litoria peronii. Three frogs were also infected in the coelomic cavity. Heavy burdens in seven frogs were associated with poor body condition and debilitating lesions, whereas lighter infections in five sick frogs were considered likely to be incidental to other diseases. In severe infections, a large proportion of thigh muscle was replaced with spargana and various amounts of fibrosis, and some frogs also had myonecrosis, granulomatous inflammation, hemorrhage, and skin ulceration. Concurrent infections were common. Our findings suggest sparganosis is one of a few currently recognized serious diseases affecting free-ranging frogs in Australia.

Item ID: 10976
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1943-3700
Keywords: amphibian; cestode; Litoria; Ophidascaris pyrrhus; parasite; pathology; spargana; Spirometra erinacei
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Date Deposited: 10 May 2010 03:49
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070708 Veterinary Parasitology @ 50%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070704 Veterinary Epidemiology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960405 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species at Regional or Larger Scales @ 40%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970107 Expanding Knowledge in the Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences @ 40%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales @ 20%
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