The closest relatives of Metastrongylus species of veterinary interest are probably species of the genus Angiostrongylus, including A. cantonensis, a gastropod-transmitted zoonosis for which rats are the primary reservoir, and A. vasorum, the "French heartworm" of dogs and other carnivores.
Adult Metastrongylus species measure up to 60 mm (females) and 25 mm (males) in length. Usually, few of the other structural features are obvious, other than in mounted, stained specimens.
Eggs of Metastrongylus species are larvated when passed, each containing a first-stage larva, and measure up to approximately 60 µm by 40 µm, with a thick, rough shell. The eggs of Metastrongylus species can easily be differentiated from other parasite eggs present in the fresh feces of pigs. In feces that are not fresh, the eggs of H. rubidus and Oesophagostomum may have larvated.
Host range and geographic distribution
Life cycle - indirect
Life Cycle: Metastrongylus species
Pathology and clinical signs
Treatment and control
are approved in Canada for Metastrongylus species in pigs.
Additional information is on the products mentioned is available from the Compendium of Veterinary Products (Twelfth Edition, 2011), or from the manufacturers.
Control of Metatsrongylus species in pigs depends on minimizing contact between pigs and intermediate hosts. Where this is not possible, early detection of infection and appropriate treatment may be helpful.