Taxonomy: f. Dilepididae
Animal: Dipylidium caninum 6 09.jpg
Dipylidium caninum fully developed metacestodes in haemocoele of adult cat flea, the intermediate host, at 25 degrees C and 24 days post infection including after 6 days of feeding on a rat whose skin temperature was 32 degrees. D. caninum (the dog tape worm) is a common parasite of dogs and cats world wide and occasionally humans become infected by ingesting infective fleas such as the one above. Flea larvae are infected by eating the eggs in the egg capsules passed from the intestine. Development of the parasite in the flea is not linked to the development of the flea but rather is controlled by temperature and relative humidity. Below 30 degrees C the parasite does not become infective until the infected adult fleas have infected mammals for 5 - 7 days, the mammalian surface temperature is essential for the parasite to complete its development in the flea. (H&E stained section). (Pugh 1985 PhD thesis).
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