Bunostomum spp

From Cow
Bunostomum spp adult

Bunostomum spp are a common large haematophagous parasitic hookworm of cattle worldwide.

Bunostomum spp are a major cause of economic losses in the livestock industry because they impair weight gain and increases mortality in cattle, especially in temperate areas[1].

Species recognized as pathogenic in cattle include:

  • Bunostomum phlebotomum
  • Bunostomum trigonocephalum[2]

The life cycle of Bunostomum spp is relatively short with a prepatent period of 4 - 6 weeks. Eggs develop slowly and the infective larvae are reached within the egg in 2 – 4 wk and may remain within the egg for several months. After ingestion, adults mature within a month. Infections with M. digitatus significantly affects a subsequent challenge infection.

Clinical signs associated with this parasite are characterized by uneasiness and stamping associated with larval penetration of the lower limbs. Adult worms cause anemia, hypoproteinemic edema and rapid weight loss. Diarrhea may be present.

Diagnosis is based on presenting clinical signs and confirmation of eggs in fecal samples[3].

A differential diagnosis would include Ostertagia spp, Oesophagostomum spp, Nematodirus spp and Cooperia spp.

Treatment is effective with most oral and topical anthelmintics. Resistance to benzimidazoles and avermectins are commonly reported[4].


  1. Stancampiano L et al (2007) Parasites of the digestive tract in beef cattle imported from France to Italy. Parassitologia 49(1-2):101-106
  2. Wang CR et al (2012) Characterization of Bunostomum trigonocephalum and Bunostomum phlebotomum from sheep and cattle by internal transcribed spacers of nuclear ribosomal DNA. Res Vet Sci 92(1):99-102
  3. Keyyu JD et al (2005) Epidemiology of gastrointestinal nematodes in cattle on traditional, small-scale dairy and large-scale dairy farms in Iringa district, Tanzania. Vet Parasitol 127(3-4):285-294
  4. Canul-Ku HL et al (2012) Prevalence of cattle herds with ivermectin resistant nematodes in the hot sub-humid tropics of Mexico. Vet Parasitol 183(3-4):292-298