Sparganosis in the echidna, Tachyglossus aculeatus, is characterized by large subcutaneous masses that may be confused with neoplasms. Plerocercoids, believed to be Spirometra erinacei, were found in the ventral or lateral subcutaneous tissues of three echidnas. In each case there was a prominent fibrous mass ≤12 cm in diameter enclosing plerocercoids, which were surrounded by an intense inflammatory infiltrate dominated by plasma cells and lymphocytes, with focal suppuration. Multiple, small (≤2 mm) plerocercoids were present in the lungs and pleural cavity of a fourth echidna that died due to severe pneumonitis. Several plerocercoids also were found in the lung of a platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) associated with parenchymal compression and focal pneumonia.
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Vol. 28 • No. 4