Angiostrongylus vasorum

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Angiostrongylus vasorum
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Nematoda
Class Secernentea
Order Strongylida
Super-family Metastrongyloidea
Family Angiostrongylidae
Genus Angiostrongylus
Species A. vasorum

Also known as: Haemostrongylus vasorum


Definitive host: Dogs and foxes.

Intermediate host: Mainly snails and slugs.

It exists mainly in Western Europe - not established in the USA.


Angiostrongylus vasorum is a parasite of the family Angiostrongylidae. The adults are slender, and measure around 2cm in length. The males have a small bursa.

Life Cycle

The adults are ovo-viviparous. The adults lay eggs in the pulmonary arteries. The eggs then hatch in the capillaries. The first stage larvae migrate into the alveoli and then the trachea. They are swallowed, enter the intestinal system and are then passed in the faeces. The intermediate host then becomes infected, which later infects the definitive host.

The larvae then develop in the definitive host, and migrate via the mesenteric lymph nodes, and the blood where they affect the heart, primarily the right ventricle.

Adults establish within the pulmonary arterial tree and can lead to pulmonary thrombosis and pulmonary hypertension. The clinical disease is Angiostrongylosis.

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