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Brief Summary

Uncinaria stenocephala is a hookworm that is mainly a parasite in the small intestine of domestic dogs, foxes and other wild canids, and (occasionally) cats. However, it occasionally penetrates human skin, causing cutaneous larva migrans but not developing any further. Transmission of U. stenocephala occurs by ingestion of infective third-stage larvae or paratenic hosts (intermediate hosts that are not essential for normal parasite development) and rarely by direct skin penetration by infective larvae. This nematode is found in the cooler northern temperate regions of the world, including the northern United States, Canada, and northern Europe. (Zajac et al. 2006)

Mieszczanek and Wedrychowicz (1999) developed a simple genetic test using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on DNA from hookworm eggs to distinguish two of the most common hookworms infecting domestic dogs, Ancylostoma caninum and Uncinaria stenocephala, permitting accurate parasite identification in living hosts. Uncinaria stenocephala tends to be less pathogenic than A. caninum, although infection may result in chronic diarrhea and hypoproteinemia (Zajac et al. 2006).


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© Shapiro, Leo

Source: EOL Rapid Response Team


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