Skip to main content Accessibility help

A case of mistaken identity – reappraisal of the species of canid and felid hookworms (Ancylostoma) present in Australia and India

  • R. J. TRAUB (a1), R. P. HOBBS (a1), P. J. ADAMS (a1), J. M. BEHNKE (a2), P. D. HARRIS (a2) and R. C. A. THOMPSON (a1)...


This study serves to clarify the current status of canid and felid Ancylostoma species present in Australia. The morphological identification of A. ceylanicum from cats for the first time in Townsville, Australia, appears to be in error, together with the genetic markers provided for the species. Morphological and genetic data presented herein provide strong evidence that the hookworms from cats in Towsville are not A. ceylanicum as previously identified (i.e. the first report of this species in Australia), but are A. braziliense. Therefore the subsequent genetic markers established for A. ceylanicum in subsequent molecular studies based on these Townsville specimens should also be attributed to A. braziliense. Based on this information, a study of canine hookworm species present in northern India is also in error and it is apparent that the hookworms found in this region are those of A. ceylanicum. The distribution of A. braziliense and A. ceylanicum in the Americas and Asia Pacific region is discussed together with the importance of combining parasite morphology with genetic data for parasite diagnosis in epidemiological studies.


Corresponding author

School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Division of Health Sciences, Murdoch University, South Street, Murdoch WA 6150, Australia. Tel: +61 8 93602457. Fax: +61 8 93104144. E-mail:


Hide All


Anderson, T. C., Foster, G. W. and Forrester, D. J. ( 2003). Hookworms of feral cats in Florida. Veterinary Parasitology 115, 1924.
Anten, J. F. and Zuidema, P. J. ( 1964). Hookworm infection in Dutch servicemen returning from West New Guinea. Tropical and Geographical Medicine 64, 216224.
Areekul, S., Radomyos, P. and Viravan, C. ( 1970). Preliminary report of Ancylostoma ceylanicum infection in Thai people. Journal of the Medical Association of Thaiand 53, 315321.
Baker, M. K., Lange, L., Verster, A. and Van Der Plaat, S. ( 1989). A survey of helminths in domestic cats in the Pretoria area of Transvaal, Republic of South Africa. Part 1: The prevalence and comparison of burdens of helminths in adult and juvenile cats. Journal of the South African Veterinary Association 60, 139142.
Beveridge, I. ( 2002). Australian hookworms (Ancylostomatidae): a review of the species present, their geographical distributions and biogeographic origins. Parassitologia 44, 8388.
Biocca, E. ( 1951). On Ancylostoma braziliense (de Faria, 1910) and its morphological differentiation from A. ceylanicum (Looss, 1911). Journal of Helminthology 15, 110.
Carroll, S. M. and Grove, D. I. ( 1986). Experimental infection of humans with Ancylostoma ceylanicum: clinical, parasitological, haematological and immunological findings. Tropical and Geographical Medicine 38, 3845.
Chaudhry, A. Z. and Longworth, D. L. ( 1989). Cutaneous manifestations of intestinal helminthic infections. Dermatologic Clinics 7, 275290.
Chilton, N. B. and Gasser, R. B. ( 1999). Sequence differences in the internal transcribed spacers of DNA among four species of hookworm (Ancylostomatoidea: Ancylostoma). International Journal for Parasitology 29, 19711977.
Choo, J., Pang, E. and Prociv, P. ( 2000). Hookworms in dogs of Kuching, Sarawak (north Borneo). Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 94, 2122.
Chowdhury, A. B. and Schad, G. A. ( 1972). Ancylostoma ceylanicum: a parasite of man in Calcutta and environs. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 21, 300301.
Dove, W. E. ( 1932). Further studies on Ancylostoma braziliense and the etiology of creeping eruptions. American Journal of Hygiene 15, 664711.
Garside, P., Behnke, J. M. and Rose, R. A. ( 1989). The immune response of male DSN hamsters to a primary infection with Ancylostoma ceylanicum. Journal of Helminthology 63, 251260.
Gasser, R. B., Stewart, L. E. and Speare, R. ( 1996). Genetic markers in ribosomal DNA for hookworm identification. Acta Tropica 62, 1521.
Hu, M., Chilton, N. B., Zhu, X. and Gasser, R. B. ( 2002). Single-strand conformation polymorphism-based analysis of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 reveals significant substructuring in hookworm populations. Electrophoresis 23, 2734.
Kumar, S., Tamura, K. and Nei, M. ( 2004). MEGA3: Integrated software for Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis and sequence alignment. Briefings in Bioinformatics 5, 150163.
Labarthe, N., Serrao, M. L., Ferreira, A. M., Almeida, N. K. and Guerrero, J. ( 2004). A survey of gastrointestinal helminths in cats of the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Veterinary Parasitology 123, 133139.
Malgor, R., Oku, Y., Gallardo, R. and Yarzabal, I. ( 1996). High prevalence of Ancylostoma spp. infection in dogs, associated with endemic focus of human cutaneous larva migrans, in Tacuarembo, Uruguay. Parasite 3, 131134.
Maplestone, P. A. ( 1933). Creeping eruption produced by hookworm larvae. Indian Medical Gazette 68, 251257.
Margono, S. S., Koesharjono, C. and Kosin, E. ( 1979). Hookworm in dogs and cats in the area of Jakarta. Tropical and Geographical Medicine 31, 257261.
Norris, D. E. ( 1971). Morphology of a North American strain of Ancylostoma braziliense Gomes de Faria, 1910. Journal of Parasitology 57, 993997.
Prieto Fernandez, R., Villegas Zulueta, A. and Orta Huerta, T. ( 1978). [1st finding of the Ancylostoma braziliense nematode (Gomez de Faria, 1910) in Canis familiaris in Cuba]. Revista Cubana de Medicina Tropical 30, 3944.
Ray, D. K., Bhopale, K. K. and Shrivastava, V. B. ( 1972). Migration and growth of Ancylostoma ceylanicum in golden hamsters Mesocricetus auratus. Journal of Helminthology 46, 357362.
Rep, B. H. ( 1963). On the polyxenia of Ancylostomidae and the validity of the characters used for their differentiation (II). Tropical and Geographical Medicine 15, 271316.
Rep, B. H. ( 1975). Intestinal helminths in dogs and cats on the Antillian Islands Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire. Tropical and Geographical Medicine 27, 317323.
Rep, B. H., Vetter, J. C. M. and Eijsker, M. ( 1968). Cross breeding experiments in Ancylostoma braziliense de Faria, 1910 and A. ceylanicum Looss, 1911. Tropical and Geographical Medicine 20, 367378.
Rep, B. H. and Heinemann, D. W. ( 1976). Changes in hookworm distribution in Surinam. Tropical and Geographical Medicine 28, 104110.
Sandground, J. H. ( 1939). Creeping eruptions in the Netherland East Indies caused by the invasion of the larva of Ancylostoma braziliense. Nederlands tijdschrift voor geneeskunde 13, 805810.
Setasuban, P. and Waddell, A. H. ( 1973). Hookworms in cats and dogs in Queensland. Australian Veterinary Journal 49, 110.
Setasuban, P., Vajrasthira, S. and Muennoo, C. ( 1976). Prevalence and zoonotic potential of Ancylostoma ceylanicum in cats in Thailand. Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health 7, 534539.
Sheikh, O., Lee, C. and Whitten, L. ( 1985). A survey of helminths and arthropods in stray dogs in Kuala Lumpur. Kajian Veterinary Journal 17, 1923.
Skrjabin, K. I., Shikhobalova, N. P., Schulz, R. S., Popova, T. I. and Boev, S. N. ( 1951). Key to Parasitic Nematodes. Volume III Strongylata, (English language edition by the Israel Program for Scientific Translation) Edn. Academy of Sciences of the USSR.
Stewart, L. ( 1994). The taxonomy of Ancylostoma species in the Townsville region of North Queensland. M.Sc. thesis, James Cook University.
Traub, R. J., Robertson, I. D., Irwin, P., Mencke, N. and Thompson, R. C. ( 2004). Application of a species-specific PCR-RFLP to identify Ancylostoma eggs directly from canine faeces. Veterinary Parasitology 123, 245255.
Velasquez, C. C. and Cabrera, B. C. ( 1968). Ancylostoma ceylanicum (Looss, 1911) in a Filipino woman. Journal of Parasitology 54, 430431.
Vetter, J. C. and Linden, L.-V. D. ( 1977). Skin penetration of infective hookworm larvae III. Comparative studies on the path of migration of hookworms Ancylostoma braziliense, Ancylosoma ceylanicum and Ancylostoma caninum. Zeitschrift für Tropenmedizin und Parasitologie 53, 155158.
Wijers, D. J. and Smit, A. M. ( 1966). Early symptoms after experimental infection of man with Ancylostoma braziliense var. ceylanicum. Tropical and Geographical Medicine 18, 4852.
Xu, L. Q., Jiang, Z. X., Yao, M. Y., Zhou, C. H., Zhang, X. Q. and Zhu, X. Z. ( 1997). Survey of human parasites in China. Chinese Journal of Parasitology and Parasitic Diseases 15, 311313.
Yorke, W. and Maplestone, P. A. ( 1926). Nematode Parasites of Vertebrates. Churchill, London.
Yoshida, Y. ( 1971). Comparative studies on Ancylostoma braziliense and Ancylostoma ceylanicum. I. The adult stage. Journal of Parasitology 57, 983989.
Yoshida, Y., Okamoto, K. and Chiu, J. K. ( 1968). Ancylostoma ceylanicum infection in dogs, cats, and man in Taiwan. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 17, 378381.
Yoshida, Y., Okamoto, K. and Chiu, J. K. ( 1971). Experimental infection of man with Ancylostoma ceylanicum Looss, 1911. Chinese Journal of Microbiology 4, 157167.
Yoshida, Y., Okamoto, K., Matsuo, K., Kwo, E. H. and Retnasabapathy, A. ( 1973). The occurrence of Ancylostoma braziliense (de Faria, 1910) and Ancylostoma ceylanicum (Looss, 1911) in Malaysia. Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health 4, 498503.


Related content

Powered by UNSILO

A case of mistaken identity – reappraisal of the species of canid and felid hookworms (Ancylostoma) present in Australia and India

  • R. J. TRAUB (a1), R. P. HOBBS (a1), P. J. ADAMS (a1), J. M. BEHNKE (a2), P. D. HARRIS (a2) and R. C. A. THOMPSON (a1)...


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.