Infection of pigs through the skin with the larvae of the swine kidney worm, Stephanurus dentatus

Schwartz, B.; Price, E.W.

Journal American Vet Medicine Assoc 32(3): 359-375


Accession: 022830461

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When placed on the intact skin, the infective larvae failed to produce infestations in the tissues and organs in which these parasites are known to occur; the liver lesions observed in 2 out of 6 pigs which had been subjected to a normal percutaneous infection with kidney worm larvae are not considered as being due to these parasites. These findings modify the conclusions of Bernard and Bauche, who believed that percutaneous infection took place without reference to the integrity of the skin. Their success in percutaneous infection may have followed from the use of pigs with abraded skins. Infective Stephanurus larvae penetrated the scarified skin of pigs readily and produced typical lesions and worm infestations in the tissues and organs in which these parasites occur normally. When injected subcutaneously into pigs, the larvae produced characteristic lesions and worm infestations in various tissues and organs which are susceptible to these parasites. Following experimental percutaneous infections, the larvae reached the liver, spleen, pancreas, perirenal fat. kidneys, psoas muscles and other abdominal organs and tissues; they also localized in thoracic organs, particularly in the lungs. These findings are not in agreement with the ideas of Bernard and Bauche, who thought that percutaneous infection resulted in perirenal infections but not in hepatic infection. S. dentatus developed rather slowly in its swine host, probably because the parasites had to go through various tissues and organs before reaching the renal region (the only location affording an outlet for the eggs). In their migrations through the various tissues and organs many worms became encapsulated or otherwise arrested; such worms would apparently not succeed in completing their development to fertile maturity.