Cockroaches as Intermediate Hosts of Parasites of Veterinary Importance

Phylum and parasite

Scientific name

Definitive host

Cockroach intermediate host


(thorny-headed worms)

Pentastomida (tongue worms)


(round worms) Esophageal and gastrointestinal worm Stomach worm

Esophagus worm Gullet worm Stomach worm Eye worm Eye worm Esophageal worm

Esophageal worm Roundworms

Stomach worm Stomach worm

Stomach worm

Moniliformis moniliformis M. dubius

Prosthenorchis elegnns P. spirula

Raillietielln hemidactyli

Abbrevinta caucctsicn Cyrnea colini

Gongylonema neoplasticum G. pulchrum Mastophorus muris Oxyspirura mansoni O. parvorum Physaloptera r&ra

P. praeputialis Protospirura bonnei P. muricola Spirura rytipleurites Tetrameres americana

T. fissipina

(primates) Rat

Captive primates


Primates (humans)

Prairie chicken, turkey, bobwhite, quail Rodents, rabbit Cattle (humans) Rodents, cat Chicken, turkey Chicken, turkey Dog, cat, raccoon, coyote, wolf, fox Dog, cat, coyote, fox Monkeys

Cat, rat

Chicken, bobwhite, ruffed grouse Ducks, geese waterfowl (also chicken, turkey, pigeon, quail)

Oriental, German

American, Smokybrown,

German German, Madiera, others

American German

German, American

Oriental, American German

American, Madiera Surinam Surinam German


German, brownbanded

Oriental German

Unspecified multiple species

Note. Rare definitive hosts are listed in parentheses.

(Fig. 3.13). However, use of more specific antigens that become aerosolized in cockroach-infested homes may be more appropriate, as this is likely to be the sensitizing material. Studies with laboratory colonies have shown that a population of several thousand German cockroaches produced several micrograms of aerosolized proteins in 48 hr. Consequently, the presence of cockroaches may have profound respiratory implications for asthmatic occupants of infested structures. For a general discussion on aerosolized arthropod allergens, see Solomon and Mathews (1988).

Development of an allergy to one insect species can result in broad cross-reactivity to other arthropods, including shrimp, lobster, crab and crawfish, sow-bugs (isopods), and house-dust mites. Chronic indoor exposure to cockroach allergens, therefore, may have significant and widespread effects on human health.

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