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Endoparasites - Moniezia

Moniezia benedeni, and Moniezia expansa: Common tapeworm.

General Description: Worms are long, measuring up to 6 metres in length and 2.6 cm in width. Proglottids are much wider and grossly resemble grains of rice.

Life Cycle: Moniezia´s life cycle is the indirect one typical of tapeworms. Immature forms develop in many genera of oribatid mites which eat the eggs. Cattle ingest the mites and digest them, releasing the immature tapeworm forms from which adult tapeworms develop.

Location: Small intestines.

Geographical Distribution: Moniezia tapeworms are widely distributed in regions of cattle production. Of the two species, M. benedeni is seen more often in cattle.

Significance: Moniezia tapeworms are widespread in cattle, but their actual economical significance is not known. Moniezia are easily seen in the intestine. In heavy infections, lower weight gain may reduce total weight at slaughter. Danger of intestinal obstruction is also a potential problem in calves with heavy infections.

Effect on Host: Heavy worm burdens may compete with the host for ingested nutrients, resulting in decreased weight gain.

Diagnostic Information: Proglottids which look like cooked rice grains appear in the faeces. Eggs found inside the proglottids are thick–shelled and imperfectly rounded.

Control: Reducing mite population is difficult. Anthelmintics effective against cestodes can be used.


 
Moniezia – adult   Moniezia – egg

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