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Nodular Worms (Oesophagostomum dentatum)

(501) This species is found in the large intestine. The adult worms are 7-15mm long

The life cycle

This is direct, the egg developing to the infective larval stage in approximately one week. The larvae burrow into the wall of the large intestine where they remain for about two weeks and form nodules. They then re-enter the intestine to mature and lay eggs. The life cycle is 40-50 days and the adult worms live in the large intestine.

Clinical signs

Heavy infections cause poor growth rate. Damage to the intestine can be severe when the larvae enter and leave the mucosa. Large numbers of nodules interfere with digestion and cause enteritis and colitis with diarrhoea. Affected pigs become pot-bellied.


This is by identifying the strongyle egg in the faeces and the presence of the worms at post-mortem examination.


  • See Fig.11-9. below
Management control and prevention
  • See introduction.

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