Case Report

Lungworm infection with Otostrongylus circumlitus in a free-ranging harbor seal (Phoca vitulina)

  • L. Geerinckx
  • A. Jonker
  • L. Van Brantegem
  • P. De Laender
  • N. De Wilde
  • E. Claerebout
  • K. Chiers


A young wild harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) was found stranded on the North Sea coast at Kok- sijde (Belgium)and was admitted to a rehabilitation center where it died one day later. Full ne- cropsy with histopathology was performed. Gross examination revealed severe diffuse hemorr- hagic and emphysematous pneumonia with the presence of 6-10 cm-large nematodes. The nema- todes were found in the trachea, large bronchi, right heart and pulmonary arteries, and subsequently identified as Otostrongylus circumlitus. Histologic examination demonstrated severe eosinophilic to granulomatous bronchointerstitial pneumonia with intralesional nematodes. It was concluded that the seal died of severe verminous pneumonia. In this case report, the importance of lungworm infection, which is a common and critical disease in young seals, is highlighted.

How to Cite:

Geerinckx, L. & Jonker, A. & Van Brantegem, L. & De Laender, P. & De Wilde, N. & Claerebout, E. & Chiers, K., (2021) “Lungworm infection with Otostrongylus circumlitus in a free-ranging harbor seal (Phoca vitulina)”, Vlaams Diergeneeskundig Tijdschrift 90(4), 182-188. doi:

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Published on
30 Aug 2021
Peer Reviewed