Gongylonema spp

From Cow
Gongylonema egg under light microscopy
Adult Gongylonema pulchrum under light microscopy

Gongylonema spp are a rare zoonotic haematophagous parasitic spirurid nematode of cattle worldwide[1].

Species recognized as pathogenic in cattle include:

  • Gongylonema pulchrum[2]
  • Gongylonema macrogubernaculum

The life cycle of Gongylonema spp is similar to other nematodes except that infective larvae are transported by dung beetles. Cattle ingested infective larvae accidentally and adult worms reside in the small intestine where they feed off intestinal contents.

Clinical signs associated with this parasite are usually nonspecific, and include diarrhea.

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

A differential diagnosis would include Ostertagia spp, Oesophagostomum spp and Cooperia spp[4].

Treatment is effective with most oral and topical anthelmintics. Resistance to benzimidazoles and avermectins are commonly reported[5], but sensitivity to eprinomectin has been reported[6].


  1. Mowlavi G et al (2009) A survey of dung beetles infected with larval nematodes with particular note on Copris lunaris beetles as a vector for Gongylonema sp. in Iran. Korean J Parasitol 47(1):13-17
  2. Jelinek T & Löscher T (1994) Human infection with Gongylonema pulchrum: a case report. Trop Med Parasitol 45(4):329-330
  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. Khan MN et al (2010) Gastrointestinal helminthiasis: prevalence and associated determinants in domestic ruminants of district Toba Tek Singh, Punjab, Pakistan. Parasitol Res 107(4):787-794
  5. 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
  6. Avcioglu H & Balkaya I (2011) Efficacy of eprinomectin against Toxocara vitulorum in calves. Trop Anim Health Prod 43(2):283-286