Letter | Published:

Attachment of the Sheep Hookworm to the Common Sheep Tapeworm

Nature volume 139, page 250 (06 February 1937) | Download Citation



THE study of the manner of feeding of the nema-todes inhabiting the alimentary canal of vertebrates is one of the comparatively recent developments of helminthology. Hoeppli, Wetzel and others have shown that many nematodes which possess a well-developed buccal capsule—typified in the Strongylidse and the Ancylostomidæ—are probably tissue feeders. Thus Wetzel1 describes the feeding habits of Chabertia ovina (Gmelin, 1790) from the large intestine of the sheep and says: ” Longitudinal sections of specimens attached to the mucosa show that the worms have drawn a portion of the stratum glandulare into the sub-globular toothless buccal capsule. On its base the tissue is strongly pressed together by the mouth wall and the anterior margin of the buccal capsule, forming a neck-like constriction. Opposite the place to which the parasite is attached a flexure is to be seen in the muscularis mucosa and in the sub-mucosa As to the marked regressive changes of the swallowed tissue and the necrotic masses at the bottom of the buccal capsule we have to assume further a histolytic action of the parasite From a general physiological point of view the whole process is nothing other than a pre-digestion of the elements of the propria mucosa before they are swallowed by the worm.”

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  1. 2.

    , North Amer. Vet., 12, 9, 25–27, (1931).

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  1. Institute of Animal Pathology, University, Cambridge.

    • D. G. DAVEY


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