Linguatula serrata can be found in several countries in Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe, North Africa, and the Americas. Although the distribution of . Linguatula serrata is a food-borne zoonotic pentastomid that affects a wide range of animals including humans. Dogs and other carnivores are the final hosts. Twenty-four to 48 hours after imidacloprid/moxidectin was administered, the dog coughed up a dead worm, later confirmed as Linguatula serrata (Fig 1).

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To receive news and publication updates for Journal of Parasitology Research, enter your email address in the box below. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution Licensewhich permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Pentastomiasis is a parasitic zoonosis endemic to western and central Africa.

This study was undertaken to determine the prevalence and public health implications of Linguatulosis in client-owned dogs in Jalingo, North Eastern Nigeria. Seven hundred and seventy seven dogs brought for treatment at the hospital were subjected to buccal sublingual examination for pentastomiasis. Parameters such as age, sex, and breeds were determined.

Linguatula serrata – Wikipedia

Also, the months of the year were taken into consideration. An overall prevalence of Of the dogs examined inwere positive representing prevalence of The sfrrata was higher in the male than in the female which does not differ significantly.

There was no significant difference between sexes. However, significant difference was observed between breeds and age of dogs examined. Season did not have much influence on the prevalence of Linguatulosis. The high prevalence of Linguatulosis in dogs and other animals found in this study highlights the need of improving preventative measures to reduce the rate of linnguatula, which may pose a hazard to human health.

Linguatulosis is a rare zoonotic parasitic disease resulting from invasion of the body by wormlike parasites of the genus Linguatulaalso known as tongue worms [ 1 lknguatula. The most commonly reported species involved in Linguatulosis is Linguatula serrata family Linguatulidae, order Porocephalida, and phylum Pentastomidawhich is commonly classified between annelids and arthropods [ 2 ]. Two families, Linguatulidae and Porocephalidae of which two important genera Linguatula and Armilliferrespectively, segrata been known to be of importance in veterinary and human medicine [ 3 ].

The species Linguatula serrata are enigmatic group of aberrant, worm-like, bloodsucking, zoonotic, and obligate endoparasites [ 45 ] that inhabit the upper respiratory tract of terrestrial, carnivorous vertebrates.

Linguatula serrata are commonly called tongue worm, serrqta to its characteristic transparent tongue-shaped, slightly convex, and swrrata flattened body structure [ 6 ]. The adult form of this parasite inhabits the nasal airway, frontal sinus, and tympanic cavity of canids and felids [ 7 ].

The intermediate hosts of these parasites are usually sheep, cattle, or rodents in which Visceral Linguatulosis have been described.

In most cases, the parasites were detected at surgery or at autopsy, mainly linguatulaa the liver, lungs, and lymph nodes. Because of the absence of specific clinical symptoms in parasitized dogs, diagnosis of Linguatulosis is often difficult. Humans can be infected in two ways: Close contact to dogs and their secretions predispose to infection with L. The highest prevalence of Visceral Linguatulosis due to L.

Studies have shown that L.

Linguatula serrata

Other pentastomids Armillifer sp. Therefore, this study was carried out in the State Veterinary Hospital, Jalingo, Taraba State, Nigeria, in pet dogs brought for treatment. Risk factors and public health implications of Linguatulosis are also discussed srerata this study.

Taraba covers an area of 60, Serrqta has a population of approximately 2, census figures. Seven hundred and seventy seven dogs brought for treatment at the hospital were subjected to buccal aerrata examination and also observation for symptoms of pentastomiasis. Also, the month of the year was taken into consideration. Those that harbored the parasite were subjected to a minor surgery to remove the parasite.


This procedure is usually bloodless and takes less than 5 minutes.

Recovered adult Linguatula parasites were flattened, dehydrated in ascending grades of ethyl alcohol, and cleared in creosote before examining under low power objective of linguatupa. The parasites were identified based on Soulsby [ 12 ] as Linguatula serrata. Statistical analysis was performed using chi-squared test. Significant level was set at. The results of the prevalence of Linguatula serrata in dogs in Jalingo, North Eastern Nigeria, are presented in Table 1.

The body of lniguatula Linguatula serrata parasite recovered was flat, elongated, annulated, and tongue like, and the anterior end had two pairs of hooks. The posterior linguqtula is somewhat narrow and cylindrical. The infection was higher in the male Differences were statistically significant. Based on age, of the dogs examined between 0—10 weeks, only Significant differences were also observed across age groups.

Linguatula serrata in cats | Vetlexicon Felis from Vetstream | Definitive Veterinary Intelligence

The infection was higher in the male 67 No significant difference was observed. Based on the breed of dogs, of the local breed of dogs examined, Significant difference was observed. Based on age, of the dogs examined between 0—10 weeks, only 80 The seasonal prevalence of Linguatulosis increases from January to March. Just before the start of the rainy season in April to May, there was a sudden drop in the prevalence.

This later picks up and increases from June till the end of the year in December Figure 2. This higher prevalence in the male than in the female was noted throughout the year from January to December in both years Figures 3 a and 4 a.

In addition, the prevalence was higher in the local breed of dog than in the cross and exotic throughout the year from January to December Figures 3 b and 4 b. Linguatula serrata is a cosmopolitan species and both larval and nymphal stages have been recorded from humans in Africa, Europe, and the Americas [ 13 ].

A prevalence of Higher prevalence of The dogs were shown to harbor pentastomid parasites in their nasal cavities. In this study, the parasite was found sublingually. The parasite may have accidentally ensconced itself in the location during migration through the buccal cavity into the nasopharynx.

It was also discovered that this aberrant localization is only common in puppies due to the softness of the tissue.

In addition, about one-third of dogs were found to linguatla infected with L. Some locals also believe that eating the raw or undercooked offals, especially liver of farm animals cattle or sheepis a useful means to promote the fetus growth during pregnancy because of its high content of linguwtula and vitamins.

In the Middle East, Halzoun also occurs after religious feasts in which uncooked sheep or goats may be served [ 1718 ]. Female dogs showed a lower infection rate in this study than males. This may be linked to the random use of more male animals. The infection was higher in the local breed of dogs than exotic and other crosses.

This serrwta be attributed to the fact that the exotic breeds are kept by the rich and affluent people where the animals have better veterinary care and restricted access to outdoor and contact with ruminants or their carcasses. Furthermore, it was discovered that the local indigenous breed of dogs were used for security and hunting purposes and, hence, most times are allowed to stray around the streets and farms.

Owners also testified to the fact that they often feed their dogs with undercooked offals and bones from the abattoirs and meat markets. Feeding dogs with infected viscera was described to increase the incidence of Linguatulosis in dogs [ 12 ]. No significant seasonal variation was noted in the study. However, worthy of note is the slight fall in parasitism observed just before the start of the rainy season April-May.


With the high prevalence reported in this study srrata public health implication in a country like Nigeria where the cattle, goats, and sheep meat are quite popular among the local population, the consequences will be far reaching. Taraba State has one of the largest populations of cattle and sheep in Nigeria and the temperate Mambilla plateau where the Canine Linguatulosis was first diagnosed by local vets supplies most of the beef consumed in the southern linguatul of the country.

Byproducts offal such as kidney, brain, liver, intestine, heart, and tongue are more commonly consumed by people in impoverished areas of the rural and semiurban regions in the developing countries [ 19 ]. Thus, a thorough inspection of visceral segrata and particularly lymph nodes should be emphasized in the slaughter house. In areas, where L. Eggs, particularly those expelled from infected dogs by sneezing or in nasal secretions, are easily unwittingly ingested as contaminants of food, fingers, water, and formites; hence, veterinarians, dog handlers, and owners could linguatuka at risk of the infection and are better advised to wash hands after handling or treating dogs regularly.

The epidemiology of L. Eggs hatch in the alimentary tract and primary larvae subsequently invade linguafula body cavity to encyst on the viscera, producing Visceral Linguatulosis, whereas ingested infective larvae attempt to migrate to linbuatula nasal passages, producing Nasopharyngeal Linguatulosis [ 21 ].

Humans could also be infected with serratx larvae of L. People may suffer from irritation in their nose and throat.

Deaths have been reported due to blocked air passages [ 22 ]. Presently, Taraba State seems to be the only state of the federation to have reported the incidence of this disease in all the veterinary hospitals located in the 20 local governments of the states, which esrrata the potential danger of spread of the disease to all other parts of the country.

Most of the clients testified to the fact that they have at one time or the other taken their pets along with them on tourism to the Mambilla Plateau. In Nigeria, risk factors such as eating undercooked or poorly roasted meat or viscerals, poor hygiene, and vegetative contamination of herbs with dog faeces may also pose danger to humans. Consumption of dog meat and offals as delicacies by some local tribes in Taraba state may also predispose them to this zoonosis.

In conclusion, this study being the first to be done near the Mambilla plateau which is the home for large cattle population due to its favourable weather and good vegetation all year round has established the presence of linguaula parasite in dogs. The high prevalence of Linguatulosis in dogs found in this study highlights the need of improving preventative measures to reduce the rate of infection, which may pose a hazard to human health.

We suggest that further investigations about the epidemiology of Linguatulosis linguatulw herbivores be conducted in this zerrata. The authors declare that there is no conflict of interests regarding the zerrata of this paper.

Journal of Parasitology Research

The authors wish to thank the staff and management of the State Veterinary Hospital, Jalingo, especially Dr. John Zaka and Mrs Ediseh-yaro for their technical assistance and support in the serratq of carrying out this work.

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