Dioctophyma renale Infection in Bears

Summary Information
Diseases / List of Parasitic Diseases / Disease summary
Alternative Names
  • Kidney worm infection
  • Giant kidney worm infection
Disease Agents Dioctophyma renale (Eustrongylus gigas), kidney worm or giant kidney worm. (B22.32.w15, B465.VIII.w8, J345.3.w2)
  • Viable eggs are passed in the urine of the definitive host and ingested by oligochaete annelid worms. Both frogs and fish are paratenic hosts and carnivores become infected when they eat these. (B22.32.w15)
Infectious Agent(s) --
Non-infectious Agent(s) --
Physical Agent(s) --
General Description
  • There is a single report of the kidney worm Dioctophyma renale being found free in the abdominal cavity of a bear [species not specified]. (B465.VIII.w8)
Further Information
  • The definitive host of Dioctophyma renale is the mink. This work has been found in various other carnivores such as the Canis lupus - Wolf, Canis latrans - Coyote, maned wolf (Crysocyon brachyurus) (Canidae - Dogs, foxes (Family)), grey fox, Procyon lotor - Common Raccoon, Nasua nasua - Coati, and various mustelids (Mustelidae - Weasels (Family)). (B22.32.w15)
  • The worms are usually found in the right kidney but in wolves have been found in other sites in the abdomen. (B22.32.w15)
  • In dogs, this worm is generally found only in the abdominal cavity. Males are 25-30 cm long, females are 35-102 cm long. Usually, single worms are found. They cause a chronic peritonitis, with brown or greenish odourless adhesive fibrinous exudate (containing both mononuclear and polynuclear leucocytes), and adhesions between the greater omentum and the liver, spleen and pancreas. Despite this, usually there are few clinical signs. (B465.VIII.w8)
  • There is no known medical treatment. (B22.32.w15)
Associated Techniques
Host taxa groups /species Further information on Host species has only been incorporated for species groups for which a full Wildpro "Health and Management" module has been completed (i.e. for which a comprehensive literature review has been undertaken).

(List does not contain all other species groups affected by this infectious agent)

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