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TDK conference 2015

The lungworm of roe deer
Sápi Réka Judit - year 6
SzIU, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Department of Parasitolgy and Zoology
Supervisor: Gábor Majoros DVM


The lungworm of roe deer (Varestrongylus capreoli) was described by Stroh and Schmid (1938). It has not been studied in Hungary, but not too many people have dealt with it around the world, therefore we have not got too much data about the development and pathological significance of this worm. The lungworm of the roe deer is the relative of worms which cause the nodular lungworm disease in sheep and goats. The worm is not too distant relative to lungworms of dogs and cats and for this reason it has some veterinary interest.

I examined lungs of roe deer from shot animals. I dissected the organs into small pieces and picked the worms up from the parenchyma. I could prepare these few millimetres long fragile V. capreoli worms only in fragments but in intact forms. The tail end of male specimens can be applied for morphological identification. There were 15 worms were prepared from 27 lungs. All the worms which ones I had dissected could be identified as V. capreoli based on published descriptions and I could not find any other worms in the lungs. With this method I could not detect all the lungs to be infected. However sometimes presence of larvae could be detected with the Baermann’s method despite of I found the inspected organ free of worms by dissection. I studied also the morphology of larvae in order to recognize them in the faeces of roe deer.

I collected 30 droppings (faecal samples) which ones certainly came from roe deer and tried to detect the presence of larvae in them. Out of those, 5 contained V. capreoli larvae. My results do not necessarily reflect the true level of prevalence, which can be much higher, because if the faecal balls lay on the ground for a long time, larvae can escape.

I infected Biomphalaria glabrata snails with larvae were isolated from roe deer faeces. This aquatic snail is not the adequate intermediate hosts for the lungworm, but in previous experiments it was found very susceptible for more kind of lungworms as well. I could rear the V. capreoli larvae in the snail’s foot, until the third moulting stage. The larvae were examined morphologically and analyzed histologically.

Potential intermediate host snails were collected from habitats of roe deer. All together in 234 specimens of Helicella, Zebrina, Monacha, Cepaea and Helix snails I could not find any larvae in them. Maybe the larvae develop in those species that have smaller size of body.

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