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Parasitic nephritis and meningoencephalomyelitis in a horse
  1. Peter Brown1,
  2. Hany M. Elsheikha1 and
  3. Simon Turner2
  1. 1The School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, The University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, Sutton Bonington, LE12 5RD, UK
  2. 2Chine House Veterinary Hospital, Sileby LE12 7RS, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Hany M. Elsheikha, elsheik2{at}


A 10-year-old horse developed ataxia and incoordination and was submitted for necropsy after euthanasia. The main gross postmortem finding was of bilateral renal masses, and a renal carcinoma had been suspected. Also, nematodes were present in histological sections of the cervical spinal cord. The microscopic feature was marked granulomatous inflammation, in both kidneys and local lymph nodes, and the clinical and morphologic features of this case resemble those observed in other reports of Halicephalobus gingivalis infection in horses. Aspects of the pathogenesis and pathology are discussed. Infection with H gingivalis should be included in the differential diagnosis of horses with acute neurological disease. However, lesions of H gingivalis are likely to be present in other organs that may be clinically inapparent. Owing to the widespread geographic distribution of H gingivalis and its zoonotic potential, this parasite poses a risk to animal and human health.

  • Parasitology
  • Infection
  • Pathology
  • Neuropathology
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