Submitted to: Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 29, 2002
Publication Date: February 20, 2003
Citation: Wunschmann, A., Garlie, V., Averbeck, G., Kurtz, H., Hoberg, E.P. 2003. Cerebral cysticercosis by taenia crassiceps in a domestic cat. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation.
Interpretive Summary: Taeniid tapeworms are among the most economically significant of the tapeworm parasites infecting humans and companion animals. Life cycles for various species of taeniids always involve 2 mammals, an intermediate host that is usually an herbivore and a definitive host that is a carnivore. Carnivorous domestic mammals occasionally become atypical intermediate hosts of taeniid tapeworms. We report the first known record for infection of the central nervous system by cysticerci of Taenia crassiceps in a domestic feline host. Neurocysticercosis is an apparently rare disease in domestic companion animals, but may be considered in cases associated with protracted disease and relapsing neurological signs. Taenia crassiceps is also a known zoonotic risk especially for immunocompromised humans. Taenia crassiceps is one of the most common adult taeniids in foxes in North America, and routes of infection for atypical intermediate hosts may involve access to feces containing parasite eggs. Improved hygiene measures and anthelmintic treatment may be useful in controlling the distribution of this parasite in atypical hosts.
Carnivorous domestic mammals occasionally become atypical intermediate hosts of taeniid tapeworms. In cases of intermittent relapsing neurological disease in cats, cerebral cysticercosis e. g., by Taenia crassiceps may be considered. Significantly this case represents the first record of neurocysticercosus in a feline host. Previous records of taeniid metacestodes in the central nervous system of felines have been attributed to the coenurus of Taenia serialis.