Does anyone know why hookworms are not usually seen in cats?
In northern Australia, cats are commonly infected with hookworms.
Autopsy surveys of unwanted urban cats show at least 25% of cats with
hookworms. Dogs surveyed at the same time ofetn have a higher prevalence
of hookowrms, approx. 45%.
Differences we have found include:
1. Higher intensities of infection with hookworms in dogs than cats;
2. Greater diversity of species in cats than dogs.
In north Queensland, dogs are infected with Ancylostoma caninum and in at
least one focus, with A. ceylanicum as well.
Cats are infected with A. caninum, A. tubaeforme, A. ceylanicum.
In our area, humans also become infected with A. caninum, with hookworms
developing to adults in small and large intestines. Some people develop
eosinophilic enteritis as a result of this infection.
The host-parasite interactions are very interesting and, like anything to
do with host specificity, totally mystifying. To test a hypothesis that
the A. caninum may contain several cryptic species we have started
using DNA techniques.
I am very interested to know if other parasitologists have found A.
caninum infecting these 3 host species.
Department of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
James Cook University
email: Rick.Speare at jcu.edu.au