Lora R. Ballweber, DVM, MS
Some important infections practitioners should be aware of.
The ability to use anthelmintics to prevent and eliminate parasite infections or disease has been the cornerstone for many parasite control programs. Unfortunately, in many instances, what was a cornerstone has become the whole program.
Echinococcus granulosus is a tiny (~3 mm) tapeworm responsible for cystic echinococcosus in humans. In many regions of the world, this is a major public health problem as well as an important economic issue. As with other tapeworms, the life cycle involves both definitive and intermediate hosts.
Larva migrans (LM) simply refers to the migration and persistence of helminth larvae in tissues of animals and humans and is separated clinically and pathologically into visceral (VLM), ocular (OLM) neural, and cutaneous larva migrans (CLM). There are many helminth parasites that can cause LM; however, Toxocara and Baylisascaris account for the majority of human cases as well as those in other animals.
Giardia is a protozoan parasite frequently detected in a wide variety of animals, including humans. Three major morphological groups are recognized: Giardia muris in mice, G. agilis in from amphibians, and a third group from various warm-blooded animals.