Giant Kidney Worm

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Giant Kidney Worm

 

(Dioctophyme renale), a parasitic nematode of the order Dioctophymata. The males reach a length of 40 cm, and the females a length of 1 m. Giant kidney worms are bright red in color. Twelve papillae are arranged around the mouth in two concentric circles. The eggs are oval and reach 85 micrometers in length.

Giant kidney worms parasitize the kidneys and abdominal cavity of dogs and such wild carnivorous animals as wolves. Swine, horses, cattle, and man are less commonly affected. Infection occurs after swallowing oligochaetes, which serve as intermediate hosts, or fish and frogs, which serve as reservoir hosts. The parasite almost completely destroys the kidney. The infection is accompanied by severe pains and the excretion of pus and blood with urine. Surgery is an effective means of treatment.