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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Sparganosis in Feral Hogs (Sus Scrofa) from Florida

Authors
item Gray, Mary - FSIS, ATHENS, GA
item Rogers, Fretorry - SO WILD GAME, INC., TEXAS
item Little, Susan - UNIV. GEORGIA, ATHENS
item Puette, Michelle - FSIS, ATHENS, GA
item Ambrose, Dana - UNIV. GEORGIA, ATHENS
item Hoberg, Eric

Submitted to: American Veterinary Medical Association Abstract
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 4, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Sparganosis in feral hogs transported from Florida to Texas and intended for human consumption is reported. Sparganosis is an infection of tissues by second-stage larvae (spargana or plerocercoids) of pseudophyllidean tapeworms. Spargana of Spirometra sp. infect a wide variety of vertebrates, and in this case larvae were identified as Spirometra mansonoides a parasite that occurs as an adult in the intestine of felid and canid hosts. In vertebrate hosts, including humans, infections with spargana occur in 3 ways: (1) ingestion of water containing infected first intermediate hosts (copepods); (2) penetration of wounds or mucous membranes by spargana resulting from direct contact with the flesh of second intermediate hosts (amphibians); or (3) ingestion of spargana in vertebrate intermediate hosts. Diagnosis of sparganoisis may often be problematic, particularly if infections are not heavy. Sparganosis, although apparently rare in the United States, can pose a risk as a zoonoses in humans.

Technical Abstract: Sparganosis, attributable to larvae of the pseudophyllidean tapeworm, Spirometra mansonoides, is reported in feral hogs from Florida. Larvae were found in 222 of 4,476 (4.96% prevalence) hogs examined from 20 counties in Florida over a 20 week period. The original finding of spargana was from feral hogs transported from Florida to Texas and slaughtered for human consumption. Spargana of Spirometra sp. infect a wide variety of vertebrates, and in this case larvae were identified as Spirometra mansonoides a parasite that occurs as an adult in the intestine of felid and canid hosts. In vertebrate hosts, including humans, infections with spargana occur in 3 ways: (1) ingestion of water containing infected first intermediate hosts (copepods); (2) penetration of wounds or mucous membranes by spargana resulting from direct contact with the flesh of second intermediate hosts (amphibians); or (3) ingestion of spargana in vertebrate intermediate hosts. Diagnosis of sparganoisis may often be problematic, particularly if infections are not heavy. Sparganosis, although apparently rare in the United States, can pose a risk as a zoonoses in humans.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014