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Prevalence of feline lungworm Aelurostrongylus abstrusus in England

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

Prevalence of feline lungworm Aelurostrongylus abstrusus in England Thumbnail


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.


Elsheikha, H. M., Wright, I., Wang, B., & Schaper, R. (2019). Prevalence of feline lungworm Aelurostrongylus abstrusus in England. Veterinary parasitology (Amsterdam), 16, 100271.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 8, 2019
Online Publication Date Feb 10, 2019
Publication Date 2019-04
Deposit Date Feb 9, 2019
Publicly Available Date Feb 11, 2020
Journal Veterinary Parasitology: Regional Studies and Reports
Print ISSN 2405-9390
Electronic ISSN 2405-9390
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 16
Pages 100271
Keywords General Veterinary; Parasitology
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: Prevalence of feline lungworm Aelurostrongylus abstrusus in England; Journal Title: Veterinary Parasitology: Regional Studies and Reports; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version:; Content Type: article; Copyright: © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.