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Epidemiology of the eye worm Thelazia callipaeda in cats from southern Switzerland


Motta, B; Nägeli, F; Nägeli, C; Solari-Basano, F; Schiessl, B; Deplazes, P; Schnyder, M (2014). Epidemiology of the eye worm Thelazia callipaeda in cats from southern Switzerland. Veterinary Parasitology, 203(3-4):287-293.

Abstract

Thelazia callipaeda is a spiruroid nematode of dogs, cats and wild carnivores transmitted by zoophilic drosophilid Phortica flies and found in an increasing number of European countries. In cats the disease is diagnosed sporadically. This study presents an epidemiological investigation of feline thelaziosis, performed in southern Ticino, Switzerland, an endemic area for T. callipaeda. Between January 2009 and July 2011 2171 cats, having outdoor access and presenting for various reasons, were examined by in-depth eye examinations, and clinical and anamnestic data were collected. The overall prevalence of T. callipaeda in the study area was 0.8% (17/2171 cats, 95% confidence interval: 0.5-1.3%). Among cats showing ocular illness, the prevalence was 9.2% (11/120, CI: 4.7-15.8%). Cats with eye worms had no international travel history and were significantly more often diagnosed between June and December than during other months. With one exception, one single eye per cat was infested, each harboring between 1 and 10 eye worms (arithmetic mean: 2.8 per cat). One cat presented with conjunctivitis and ulcers, seven with conjunctivitis only and 3 with a mildly increased lacrimation, while 6 cats were asymptomatic. Significantly more male than female cats had eye worms and cats older than one year were overrepresented. No pure-bred cats were infested. This study confirms the establishment of this potentially zoonotic parasite in cats from the study area. Due to the clinical relevance and pain caused by the infestations, increased disease awareness and in depth eye examination for the detection of T. callipaeda in cats are recommended, even in absence of obvious clinical signs, in order to initiate appropriate anthelmintic treatment.

Abstract

Thelazia callipaeda is a spiruroid nematode of dogs, cats and wild carnivores transmitted by zoophilic drosophilid Phortica flies and found in an increasing number of European countries. In cats the disease is diagnosed sporadically. This study presents an epidemiological investigation of feline thelaziosis, performed in southern Ticino, Switzerland, an endemic area for T. callipaeda. Between January 2009 and July 2011 2171 cats, having outdoor access and presenting for various reasons, were examined by in-depth eye examinations, and clinical and anamnestic data were collected. The overall prevalence of T. callipaeda in the study area was 0.8% (17/2171 cats, 95% confidence interval: 0.5-1.3%). Among cats showing ocular illness, the prevalence was 9.2% (11/120, CI: 4.7-15.8%). Cats with eye worms had no international travel history and were significantly more often diagnosed between June and December than during other months. With one exception, one single eye per cat was infested, each harboring between 1 and 10 eye worms (arithmetic mean: 2.8 per cat). One cat presented with conjunctivitis and ulcers, seven with conjunctivitis only and 3 with a mildly increased lacrimation, while 6 cats were asymptomatic. Significantly more male than female cats had eye worms and cats older than one year were overrepresented. No pure-bred cats were infested. This study confirms the establishment of this potentially zoonotic parasite in cats from the study area. Due to the clinical relevance and pain caused by the infestations, increased disease awareness and in depth eye examination for the detection of T. callipaeda in cats are recommended, even in absence of obvious clinical signs, in order to initiate appropriate anthelmintic treatment.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Parasitology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Parasitology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
600 Technology
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:22 May 2014 09:09
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 05:46
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0304-4017
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2014.04.009
Related URLs:http://www.zora.uzh.ch/96002/
PubMed ID:24810375

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