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Prevalence of feline lungworm Aelurostrongylus abstrusus in England

Elsheikha, Hany M.; Wright, Ian; Wang, Bo; Schaper, Roland


Hany M. Elsheikha

Ian Wright

Bo Wang

Roland Schaper


Infection of cats with lungworm Aelurostrongylus abstrusus has recentlbeen documented in the UK. Here, we aimed to study the prevalence of A. abstrusus in fecal samples from cats across England. A total of 950 fecal samples were collected from cats together with information on their age, breed, gender, geographic region, lifestyle, and treatment history. A total of 17 (1.7%) cats were positive for A. abstrusus based on species-specific morphological features of the larvae isolated by Baermann's technique. There was no statistically significant difference in the proportion of positive samples between females (506; 53.2%) and males (444; 46.7%). Multiple regression analysis showed that prevalence of feline lungworm was significantly different across geographic regions: in comparison with East Midlands, some regions had shown significantly increased odds of A. abstrusus-positive samples (South East [odds ratio [OR]=7.68; 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.70 to 32.76; p=.01]; West Midlands [OR=6.20; 95% CI=1.21 to 26.84; p=.02]), while other regions had also increased odds although not statistically significant (Greater London [OR=9.63; 95% CI=0.43 to 84.05; p=.07]; North West [OR=4.25; 95% CI=0.59 to 20.89; p=.09]; South West [OR=2.48; 95% CI=0.12 to 17.64; p=.43]; and North East [OR=1.88; 95% CI=0.10 to 12.24; p=.57]). Keeping cats inside was protective against the risk of infection compared with those having outdoor access (OR=0.09; 95% CI=0.01 to 0.48; p=.02). On the other hand, age, breed, gender and deworming history did not have any significant effect on the likelihood of infection. Our data indicate that A. abstrusus is a parasite of potential significance in cats, in particular those from certain geographic regions in England. To reduce the spread of this parasite, an integrated feline lungworm control program needs to be implemented.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Feb 10, 2019
Journal Veterinary Parasitology
Print ISSN 0304-4017
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Cats; Lungworm; Aelurostrongylus abstrusus; Prevalence; Survey; Risk factors
Publisher URL


This file is under embargo until Feb 10, 2020 due to copyright restrictions.

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