Skip to main content Accessibility help

Chickens and pigs as transport hosts for Ascaris, Trichuris and Oesophagostomum eggs

  • A. OLSEN (a1), A. PERMIN (a2) (a3) and A. ROEPSTORFF (a3)


Ten chickens and 2 pigs were fed non-embryonated eggs of Ascaris suum, Trichuris suis and Oesophagostomum dentatum. Each chicken was fed approximately 15000 eggs of each parasite species while approximately 300000 eggs were given to each of the pigs. After passage in chickens 8.3% of O. dentatum eggs were recovered in faeces compared to 61.1% and 41.6% of A. suum and T. suis eggs, respectively. After passage in pigs the percentages were 38.4%, 49.1% and 30.3%, respectively. After embryonation in the laboratory, 1000 eggs of each parasite species having passed through chickens or pigs or having been kept in the laboratory as controls were fed to groups of 6 pigs to check the infectivity. The number of A. suum recovered from pigs was similar in the 3 groups with 34.0, 52.8 and 41.8%, respectively. The recovery of T. suis in the pig passage group was 54.0% which was significantly lower than the recovery in the chicken passage group (81.8%) and the laboratory group (88.0%). The number of O. dentatum recovered was not significantly different among the 3 experimental groups, the percentage recovery being 30.5, 9.2 and 28.5%, respectively. One explanation for the lower infectivity of T. suis in the pig passage group may be that the eggs have been sublethally damaged through their passage. The results demonstrate that chickens and pigs can act as transport hosts for A. suum, T. suis and O. dentatum, and it is highly probable that these domestic animals are able to act also as transport hosts for the human parasite equivalents. This will have important consequences for the environmental and behavioural strategies in human helminth control programmes.


Corresponding author

Corresponding author: Danish Bilharziasis Laboratory, Jaegersborg Allé 1D, 2920 Charlottenlund, Denmark. Tel: +45 77 32 77 32. Fax: +45 77 32 77 33. E-mail:


Hide All
ACKERT, J. E. (1922). Investigations on the control of hookworm disease. IV. The relation of the domestic chicken to the spread of hookworm disease. American Journal of Hygiene 2, 2638.
ACKERT, J. E. & PAYNE, F. K. (1922). Investigations on the control of hookworm disease. V. The domestic pig and hookworm dissemination. American Journal of Hygiene 2, 3950.
BOES, J., NANSEN, P. & STEPHENSON, L. (1997). False-positive Ascaris suum egg counts in pigs. International Journal for Parasitology 27, 833838.
BOES, J., JOHANSEN, M. V., ERIKSEN, L., BøGH, H. O., NANSEN, P. & STEPHENSON, L. S. (1998). False-positive Trichuris suis egg counts in pigs in relation to coprophagia. Parasite 5, 9193.
BUNDY, D. A. P. & COOPER, E. S. (1989). Trichuris and trichuriasis in humans. Advances in Parasitology 28, 107173.
BURDEN, D. J. & HAMMET, N. C. (1976). A comparison of the infectivity of Trichuris suis ova embryonated by four different methods. Veterinary Parasitology 2, 307311.
CHANDLER, A. C. (1924). Animals as disseminators of hookworm eggs and larvae. The Indian Medical Gazette 59, 533537.
CROMPTON, D. W. T. (1989). Biology of Ascaris lumbricoides. In Ascariasis and its Prevention and Control (ed. CROMPTON, D. W. T. NESHEIM, M. C. &PAWLOWSKI, Z. S.), pp. 944. Taylor & Francis, London.
JONES, H. I. (1976). The role of pigs in the dissemination of Ascaris and hookworm infections in Papua New Guinea. Papua New Guinea Medical Journal 19, 153155.
MINGA, U. M., KATULE, A. M., MAEDA, T. & MUSASA, J. (1989). Potential and problems of the traditional chicken industry in Tanzania. In Proceedings of the Seventh Tanzania Veterinary Association Scientific Conference, Arusha, Tanzania, December 1989.
OTTO, G. F., CORT, W. W. & KELLER, A. E. (1931). Environmental studies of families in Tennessee infested with Ascaris, Trichuris and hookworm. American Journal of Hygiene 14, 156193.
PERMIN, A. & HANSEN, J. W. (1998). Epidemiology, diagnosis and control of poultry parasites. A FAO Animal Health Manual, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy.
PERMIN, A., HENNINGSEN, E., MURRELL, K. D., ROEPSTORFF, A. & NANSEN, P. (2000). Establishment of Ascaris suum larvae in pigs fed A. suum-infected chicken liver and lungs. International Journal for Parasitology 30, 867868.
POLDERMAN, A. M & BLOTKAMP, J. (1995). Oesophagostomum infections in humans. Parasitology Today 11, 451456.
ROEPSTORFF, A., BJøRN, H. & NANSEN, P. (1987). Resistance of Oesophagostomum spp. in pigs to pyrantel citrate. Veterinary Parasitology 24, 229239.
ROEPSTORFF, K. & MURRELL, K. D. (1997). Transmission dynamics of helminth parasites of pigs on continuous pasture: Ascaris suum and Trichuris suis. International Journal for Parasitology 27, 563572.
ROEPSTORFF, A., ERIKSEN, L., SLOTVED, H.-C. & NANSEN, P. (1997). Experimental Ascaris suum infection in the pig: worm population kinetics following single inoculations with three doses of infective eggs. Parasitology 12, 443452.
ROEPSTORFF, A. & NANSEN, P. (1998). Epidemiology, diagnosis and control of helminth parasites in swine. A FAO Animal Health Manual, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy.
SLOTVED, H. C., BARNES, E. H., BJORN, H., CHRISTENSEN, C. M., ERIKSEN, L., ROEPSTORFF, A. & NANSEN, P. (1996). Recovery of Oesophagostomum dentatum from pigs by isolation of parasites migrating from large intestinal contents embedded in agar-gel. Veterinary Parasitology 63, 237245.
SLOTVED, H. C., BARNES, E. H., ERIKSEN, L., ROEPSTORFF, A., NANSEN, P. & BJORN, H. (1997). Use of agar-gel technique for large scale application to recover Ascaris suum larvae from intestinal contents of pigs. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 38, 207212.
STEENHARD, N. R., STOREY, P. A., YELIFARI, L., PIT, D. S. S., NANSEN, P. & POLDERMAN, A. M. (2000). The role of pigs as transport hosts of the human helminths Oesophagostomum bifurcum and Necator americanus. Acta Tropica 76, 12530.
STOLTZFUS, R. J. & DREYFUSS, M. L. (1998). Guidelines for the Use of Iron Supplements to Prevent and Treat Iron Deficiency Anemia. INACG/WHO/UNICEF, Washington, DC.


Chickens and pigs as transport hosts for Ascaris, Trichuris and Oesophagostomum eggs

  • A. OLSEN (a1), A. PERMIN (a2) (a3) and A. ROEPSTORFF (a3)


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