Med. Weter. 79 (12), 648-651, 2023

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Infection of Spirometra erinaceieuropaei in a cat imported to Poland from South Korea
Spirometra tapeworms are causative agents of sparganosis, an emerging zoonosis in Europe. Many mammal species in Poland, such as wild boar and American mink, are among its paratenic hosts. Red foxes and raccoon dogs are recognized as both intermediate and definitive hosts. Very little is known about the prevalence of Spirometra among dogs and cats. Only a few cases of infection in cats have been described worldwide. The aim of this paper was to describe a very important aspect of long distances parasite migration. In March 2023, a mixed breed cat was brought from South Korea to Poland. In fecal examination, eggs similar to those of tapeworms from the Diphyllobothridae family were found. Molecular identification of the tapeworm showed a 100% similarity to Spirometra erinaceieuropaei deposited in GenBank®. One dose of praziquantel was effective against infestation. This case of the cat imported into Poland without previous deworming or vaccination highlights the problem of potentially dangerous parasites entering countries along with pets.
Key words: Spirometra erinaceieuropaei, sparganosis, cat, imported infection, Poland