Al-Sabi MNS, Chriél M, Hansen MS, Enemark HL Baylisascaris procyonis in wild raccoons (Procyon lotor) in Denmark. Vet Parasitol Reg Stud Rep. 2015; 1-2:55-58

Anderson RC Nematode Parasites of Vertebrates. Their development and transmission, 2nd end. Guilford: CABI; 2000

Blaizot R, Goiset A, Caumes E, Gabriel F, Milpied B Cutaneous larva migrans: a case in Bordeaux, France and a systematic review of locally acquired cases in Europe. Eur J Dermatol. 2017; 27:(4)426-429

Blagburn BL, Butler JM Optimize intestinal parasite detection with centrifugal fecal flotation. Vet Med. 2006; 101:(7)455-464

Bosse M, Manhardt J, Stoye M Epidemiology and control of neonatal Helminth Infections of the dog. Fortschritte der Vet Medizin. 1980; 30:247-256

Bowman DD Georgi's parasitology for veterinarians, 9th edn. Philadelphia, USA: Saunders Company; 2009

Bowman DD, Hendrix CM, Lindsay DS, Barr SC Feline clinical parasitology.Iowa State University: Blackwell Science Company; 2002

Bowman DD, Montgomery SP, Zajac AM, Eberhard ML, Kazacos KR Hookworms of dogs and cats as agents of cutaneous larva migrans. Trends Parasitol. 2010; 26:(4)162-167

Caumes E, Ly F, Bricaire F Cutaneous larva migrans with folliculitis: report of seven cases and review of the literature. Br J Dermatol. 2002; 146:(2)314-316

Dade AW, Williams JF Hepatic and peritoneal invasion by adult ascarids (Toxocara canis) in a dog. Vet Med Small Anim Clin. 1975; 70:(8)947-949

Del Giudice P, Hakimi S, Vandenbos F, Magana C, Hubiche T Autochthonous cutaneous larva migrans in France and Europe. Acta Derm Venereol. 2019; 99:(9)805-808

Despommier D Toxocariasis: clinical aspects, epidemiology, medical ecology, and molecular aspects. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2003; 16:(2)265-272

Dryden MW, Payne PA, Ridley R, Smith V Comparison of common fecal flotation techniques for the recovery of parasite eggs and oocysts. Vet Ther. 2005; 6:(1)15-28

Helminthosen von Hund und Katze Eckert J., 5th edn. In: Rommel M, Eckert J, Kutzer E, Körting W, Schneider T (eds). Berlin: Verlag Paul Parey; 2000

Epe C Intestinal nematodes: biology and control. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 2009; 39:(6)1091-1107

Garcia CA, Sabrosa NA, Gomes AB, Segundo PS, Garcia Filho CA, Sabrosa AS Diffuse unilateral subacute neuroretinitis--DUSN. Int Ophthalmol Clin. 2008; 48:(3)119-129

Gates MC, Nolan TJ Endoparasite prevalence and recurrence across different age groups of dogs and cats. Vet Parasitol. 2009a; 166:(1-2)153-158

Gates MC, Nolan TJ Risk factors for endoparasitism in dogs: retrospective case–control study of 6578 veterinary teaching hospital cases. J Small Anim Pract. 2009b; 50:(12)636-640

Gavin PJ, Kazacos KR, Shulman ST Baylisascariasis. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2005; 18:(4)703-718

Graeff-Teixeira C, Morassutti AL, Kazacos KR Update on baylisascariasis, a highly pathogenic zoonotic infection. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2016; 29:(2)375-399

Gutiérrez García-Rodrigo C, Tous Romero F, Zarco Olivo C Cutaneous larva migrans, welcome to a warmer Europe. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2017; 31:(1)e33-e35

Hendrix CM Helminth infections of the feline small and large intestine: diagnosis and treatment. Vet Med. 1995; 90:(5)456-472

Heller HB, Arnold S, Dreyfus JL Baylisascaris procyonis central nervous system infection in a four-month-old Gordon setter dog. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. 2019; 55:(3)

Holland CV, Smith HV Toxocara: the enigmatic parasite.Oxfordshire, UK: CABI Publishing; 2006

Hunter GW, Worth CB Variations in response to filariform larvae of Ancylostoma caninum in the skin of man. J Parasitol. 1945; 31:(6)366-372

Jung BK, Lee JY, Chang T, Song H, Chai JY Rare case of enteric Ancylostoma caninum hookworm infection, South Korea. Emerg Infect Dis. 2020; 26:(1)181-183

Kalkofen UP Hookworms of dogs and cats. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 1987; 17:(6)1341-1354

Katagiri S, Oliveira-Sequeira TCG Prevalence of dog intestinal parasites and risk perception of zoonotic infection by dog owners in São Paulo State, Brazil. Zoonoses Public Health. 2008; 55:(8-10)406-413

Kazacos KR Baylisascaris procyonis and related species, 2nd edn. In: Samuel WM, Pybus MJ, Kocan AA (eds). Ames IA: Iowa State University Press; 2001

Kazacos KR Unusual fecal parasite in a dog. NAVC Clin Brief. 2006; 4:37-39

Keegan JD, Holland CV Contamination of the hair of owned dogs with the eggs of Toxocara spp. Vet Parasitol. 2010; 173:(1-2)161-164

Lee AC, Schantz PM, Kazacos KR, Montgomery SP, Bowman DD Epidemiologic and zoonotic aspects of ascarid infections in dogs and cats. Trends Parasitol. 2010; 26:(4)155-161

Malvy D, Ezzedine K, Pistone T, Receveur MC, Longy-Boursier M Extensive cutaneous larva migrans with folliculitis mimicking multimetameric herpes zoster presentation in an adult traveler returning from Thailand. J Travel Med. 2006; 13:(4)244-247

Manning L, Chambers S, Paltridge G, Maurice P Cutaneous larva migrans (hookworm) acquired in Christchurch, New Zealand. N Z Med J. 2006; 119:(1231)

McCarthy J, Moore TA Emerging helminth zoonoses. Int J Parasitol. 2000; 30:(12-13)1351-1360

Mizgajska-Wiktor H, Jarosz W, Fogt-Wyrwas R, Drzewiecka A Distribution and dynamics of soil contamination with Toxocara canis and Toxocara cati eggs in Poland and prevention measures proposed after 20 years of study. Vet Parasitol. 2017; 234:1-9

Morelli S, Diakou A, Di Cesare A, Colombo M, Traversa D Canine and feline parasitology: analogies, differences, and relevance for human health. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2021; 15:(4)

Nagy A, Ziadinov I, Schweiger A, Schnyder M, Deplazes P Fellkontamination mit eiern von zoonotischen helminthen bei hof-und haushunden sowie bei füchsen [hair coat contamination with zoonotic helminth eggs of farm and pet dogs and foxes]. Berl Munch Tierarztl Wochenschr. 2011; 124:(11-12)503-511

Overgaauw PA Aspects of Toxocara epidemiology: toxocarosis in dogs and cats. Crit Rev Microbiol. 1997a; 23:(3)233-251

Overgaauw PA Aspects of Toxocara epidemiology: human toxocarosis. Crit Rev Microbiol. 1997b; 23:(3)215-231

Overgaauw PA, van Knapen F Verwaarloosbaar risico op viscerale of oculaire larva migrans door het aaien van een hond [negligible risk of visceral or ocular larva migrans from petting a dog]. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2004; 148:(32)1600-1603

Overgaauw PA, van Zutphen L, Hoek D, Yaya FO, Roelfsema J, Pinelli E, van Knapen F, Kortbeek LM Zoonotic parasites in fecal samples and fur from dogs and cats in The Netherlands. Vet Parasitol. 2009; 163:(1-2)115-122

Page LK, Swihart RK, Kazacos KR Raccoon latrine structure and its potential role in transmission of Baylisascaris procyonis to vertebrates. Am Midl Nat. 1998; 140:(1)180-185[0180RLSAIP]2.0.CO;2

Palmer CS, Traub RJ, Robertson ID, Hobbs RP, Elliot A, While L, Rees R, Thompson RCA The veterinary and public health significance of hookworm in dogs and cats in Australia and the status of A. ceylanicum. Vet Parasitol. 2007; 145:(3-4)304-313

Popiołek M, Szczęsna-Staśkiewicz J, Bartoszewicz M, Okarma H, Smalec B, Zalewski A Helminth parasites of an introduced invasive carnivore species, the raccoon (Procyon lotor L.), from the Warta Mouth National Park (Poland). J Parasitol. 2011; 97:(2)357-360

Prociv P, Croese J Human eosinophilic enteritis caused by dog hookworm Ancylostoma caninum. Lancet. 1990; 335:(8701)1299-1302

Rivera-Roig V, Sánchez JL, Hillyer GV Hookworm folliculitis. Int J Dermatol. 2008; 47:(3)246-248

Robertson ID, Thompson RC Enteric parasitic zoonoses of domesticated dogs and cats. Microbes Infect. 2002; 4:(8)867-873

Rostami A, Ma G, Wang T Human toxocariasis – a look at a neglected disease through an epidemiological ‘prism’. Infect Genet Evol. 2019; 74

Salem G, Schantz P Toxocaral visceral larva migrans after ingestion of raw lamb liver. Clin Infect Dis. 1992; 15:(4)743-744

Sapp SGH, Elsemore DA, Hanna R, Yabsley MJ Experimental comparison of Baylisascaris procyonis definitive host competence between domestic dogs and raccoons (Procyon lotor). Parasitology. 2020; 147:(12)1344-1351

Savilla TM, Joy JE, May JD, Somerville CC Prevalence of dog intestinal nematode parasites in south central West Virginia, USA. Vet Parasitol. 2011; 178:(1-2)115-120

Stoye M Biologie, Pathogenität, diagnostik und bekämpfung von ancylostoma caninum [biology, pathogenicity, diagnosis and control of Ancylostoma caninum]. Dtsch Tierarztl Wochenschr. 1992; 99:(8)315-321

Stehr-Green JK, Schantz PM The impact of zoonotic diseases transmitted by pets on human health and the economy. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 1987; 17:(1)1-15

Stürchler D, Weiss N, Gassner M Transmission of toxocariasis. J Infect Dis. 1990; 162:(2)

Traub RJ, Monis PT, Robertson ID Molecular epidemiology: a multidisciplinary approach to understanding parasitic zoonoses. Int J Parasitol. 2005; 35:(11-12)1295-1307

Traub RJ, Hobbs RP, Adams PJ, Behnke JM, Harris PD, Thompson RC A case of mistaken identity – reappraisal of the species of canid and felid hookworms (Ancylostoma) present in Australia and India. Parasitology. 2007; 134:(1)113-119

Traversa D Pet roundworms and hookworms: a continuing need for global worming. Parasit Vectors. 2012; 5:(1)

Tyungu DL, McCormick D, Lau CL, Chang M, Murphy JR, Hotez PJ, Mejia R, Pollack H Toxocara species environmental contamination of public spaces in New York City. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2020; 14:(5)

Wise ME, Sorvillo FJ, Shafir SC, Ash LR, Berlin OG Severe and fatal central nervous system disease in humans caused by Baylisascaris procyonis, the common roundworm of raccoons: a review of current literature. Microbes Infect. 2005; 7:(2)317-323

Yabsley MJ, Sapp SGH Prevalence of Baylisascaris in domestic dog coprological examinations in the United States, 2013–2016. Vet Parasitol Reg Stud Rep. 2017; 9:65-69

Zoonotic hookworms and roundworms affecting dogs and cats in Europe

02 March 2024
11 mins read
Volume 15 · Issue 2
Figure 3. Eggs of hookworms (Ancylostomatidae) detected in stool sample using floatation.
Figure 3. Eggs of hookworms (Ancylostomatidae) detected in stool sample using floatation.


Ascarids and ancylostomatids are parasitic nematodes that are significant to animal and human health. Widespread misconceptions have often contributed to a tendency among the general public and pet owners to underestimate the importance of these intestinal worms. Similarly, there is a low level of concern even within the veterinary community, despite the need to remain vigilant. Understanding the epidemiology, transmission pathways and clinical implications of these infections is crucial in mitigating their impact on public health and animal wellbeing. This article provides a brief overview of zoonotic hookworms and roundworms affecting dogs and cats in Europe, with a focus on their biology, patterns of transmission, associated diseases and strategies for prevention and control. The article emphasises the need for interdisciplinary collaboration between veterinary and human health sectors and the importance of awareness, early detection and effective management of these zoonotic parasites to safeguard both animal and human health.

Different species of ascarids and ancylostomatids, commonly called ‘roundworms’ and ‘hookworms’ respectively, infect the small intestine of dogs and cats in Europe. These parasites are significant to human and animal health, as they are the most important nematodes affecting companion animals globally, in terms of infection rates, geographical distribution and risks to both animal and human health (Traversa, 2012; Morelli et al, 2021).

In Europe, dogs are infected by the roundworm Toxocara canis and the hookworm Ancylostoma caninum, while cats can be infected by T. cati and A. tubaeforme. Less commonly found nematodes such as Toxascaris leonina and Uncinaria stenocephala can infect dogs and, to a lesser extent, cats (Bowman et al, 2010; Traversa, 2012). The raccoon roundworm Baylisascaris procyonis is mostly prevalent in North America, but has been detected in central and northern countries of Europe (Gavin et al, 2005; Popiołek et al, 2011; Al-sabi et al, 2015).

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting The Veterinary Nurse and reading some of our peer-reviewed content for veterinary professionals. To continue reading this article, please register today.