An identification key for the five most common species of Metastrongylus

Diana Gassó, Luca Rossi, Gregorio Mentaberre, Encarna Casas, Roser Velarde, Pawel Nosal, Emmanuel Serrano, Joaquim Segales, Pedro Fernandez-Llario, Carles Feliu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


© 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Species of the Metastrongylus genus, the lung nematodes of pigs that require an intermediate host (earthworm) to complete their cycle, pose a potential risk to both livestock and humans. This parasite which can result in lung pathology and mixed infections with other pathogens (e.g. viruses) can be fatal to pigs. Although this genus is distributed worldwide, there are no classification keys for identifying this common parasite species. In this work, we take advantage of parasitological surveys of wild boar (Sus scrofa) in northern and central Spain and southern Poland to develop a morphological identification key for the five most common Metastrongylus species (Metastrongylus apri, Metastrongylus pudendotectus, Metastrongylus salmi, Metastrongylus confusus and Metastrongylus asymetricus). In addition, we provide the first record of M. confusus in Spain, probably unidentified until now due to the lack of appropriate identification keys. We hope that this user-friendly identification key will enable parasitologists and veterinary practitioners to avoid further misclassifications of Metastrongylus species.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3495-3500
JournalParasitology Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2014


  • Lung worms
  • Metastrongylus apri
  • Metastrongylus asymetricus
  • Metastrongylus confusus
  • Metastrongylus elongatus
  • Metastrongylus pudendotectus
  • Wild boar


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