DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of raccoon intestinal roundworm (Physaloptera sp.). Shown in this image is the stomodeum or mouth region of the adult Physaloptera nematode that attaches to the intestinal wall. Physaloptera species occur in the stomach of a variety of terrestrial vertebrates, especially dogs and cats. They are usually firmly attached to the gastric or duodenal mucosa by the stomodeum. Physaloptera sp. can cause acute gastritis, anaemia, severe weight loss and sometimes death. Eggs are passed in the faeces and can become infective in 2-3 weeks. After a dog or cat comes in to contact with contaminated faeces or ingests infective eggs or larvae (from a paratenic host), development of larvae to adults immediately occurs in the intestine. Baylisascaris procyonis is the species that occurs in raccoons and can be deadly to humans. Magnification x7 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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