The life cycle of Lagochilascaris major was studied using eggs collected from a natural clinical case in a domestic cat. Twenty-seven white mice (Mus musculus), 5 hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus), and 1 vesper mouse (Calomys callosus) were orally inoculated with 800–1,300 embryonated eggs. When examined from 73 to 246 days postinoculation (PI), encysted third-stage larvae were seen in skeletal muscles and less frequently in connective tissue, liver, and lungs. Twenty-two of the 23 cats orally inoculated with 40–430 encysted larvae from these rodents, and necropsied from 1 hr to 185 days PI, became infected. Third-stage larvae were located in the stomach, esophagus, and oropharynx from 1 to 24 hr PI. At 48 hr, larvae, from mainly the fourth stage, were only found, unilaterally or bilaterally, inside a “sac” in the region of the semilunar fold of the palatine tonsil at the base of the tongue. Adult worms were found in this location from 10 to 175 days PI. No fistulated abscess to the outside medium was found. Adult worms were also found in the middle ears of 2 cats showing purulent otitis. Eggs in the ear secretion were under different stages of development. Eggs in feces were first observed on days 14 and 15 PI, and 1 cat shed them until 178 days PI. Six infected cats were treated with fenbendazole at 50 mg/kg of body weight for 3 consecutive days, eliminating all the parasites present in the tonsils. The drug was not effective against the parasites present in the middle ear. No stage of the parasite was found in the tissues of 5 cats given 4,000–5,200 eggs orally and examined after 19 and 50 days PI. This indicates that the life cycle of L. major requires an obligate paratenic host and is characterized by heteroxenic cycle.
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