Researches on Sparganosis in the Netherlands East Indies

C. Bonne Institute for Pathology, School of Medicine, Batavia, Java

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In the Netherlands East Indies Diphyllobothrium ranarum is common in dogs but especially in cats. The sparganum stage is frequently present in frogs, less frequent in toads. A local Cyclops acts as first intermediate host.

Under experimental conditions it is easy to infect Cyclops, but it is very difficult to infect adult frogs or toads with infected Cyclops. On the other hand, there are no difficulties in obtaining this infection when the frog is still in its tadpole stage. Spargana from tadpoles develop into Diphyllobothrium tapeworms in the same way as spargana from adult frogs. In nature, however, infected tadpoles have not been discovered. The question arises whether the feeding habits of tadpoles in tiny laboratory dishes are comparable to those in nature.

Experimental infections of mice, monkeys and other animals, not suitable as host for the adult Diphyllobothrium tapeworm, are possible with infected Cyclops and with spargana from frogs or tadpoles. The animals develop sparganosis under these conditions. Natural infections with spargana in man and domestic animals are probably also acquired both ways.

Spargana found in natural infections of man and monkey in Batavia, when fed to a cat, developed into specimens of Diphyllobothrium ranarum. This seems to be the common and most important Diphyllobothrium species present in Java. The specific diagnosis of the worm was in all cases made by Faust.

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