JPC SYSTEMIC PATHOLOGY
SIGNALMENT (JPC# 1852297): Adult wild-caught female Cebus monkey (Cebus sp.)
HISTORY: Incidental necropsy finding with numerous 0.5 to 2.5 cm diameter grayish-tan nodules on the serosal surface of the duodenum and jejunum
HISTOPATHOLOGIC DESCRIPTION: Small intestine: Markedly expanding and compressing the tunica muscularis and elevating the overlying serosa, or within the adjacent mesenteric adipose tissue, are multifocal 4 to 5 mm diameter well demarcated granulomas characterized by a discontinuous fibrous capsule surrounding a rim of numerous epithelioid macrophages, eosinophils, degenerate and viable neutrophils and few lymphocytes and plasma cells, which surrounds multiple cross and tangential sections of adult nematodes and eggs, fibrin, eosinophilic homogenous material and necrotic debris. Nematodes are up to 120 um in diameter, have a 5 um thick eosinophilic hyaline cuticle with evenly spaced longitudinal cuticular ridges, a pseudocoelom, platymyarian-meromyarian musculature, and a prominent digestive tract lined by few multinucleate cells with a low brush border. Eggs are 30-50 um in diameter and thin shelled and contain morula or larvae. Lymphocytes, plasma cells and eosinophils extend into the adjacent serosa, submucosa, and into the lamina propria. The tunica muscularis adjacent to the granulomas is often lost and replaced by fibrous connective tissue. The majority of the intestinal mucosa is autolytic.
MORPHOLOGIC DIAGNOSIS: Small intestine: Granulomas, serosal and mesenteric, chronic, multifocal, moderate with multiple adult trichostrongyle nematodes and eggs, etiology consistent with Molineus torulosusand mild lymphoplasmacytic enteritis, Cebus monkey (Cebus sp.), nonhuman primate.
ETIOLOGY: Molineus torulosus
ETIOLOGIC DIAGNOSIS: Enteric trichostrongylosis
- Class Secernentea, order Strongylida, suborder Trichostrongylida
- Molineus are small slender pale red worms of the upper digestive tract, pylorus, and occasionally pancreas and mesentery of nonhuman primates; worms are not found in the terminal jejunum or ileum; found lying on the mucosa, not attached
- Molineus torulosus is the only pathogenic species; causes hemorrhagic or ulcerative enteritis
- Unknown life cycle
- Infective L3 penetrates epithelium and burrows into the submucosa > larvae mature and deposit eggs > formation of submucosal granulomas > eggs are expelled through channels from granuloma into the intestinal lumen
- Invasion of the host’s vascular system > fibrin thrombi or direct penetration or dissemination via portal vein > pancreatic ducts > chronic pancreatitis
TYPICAL CLINICAL FINDINGS:
- Usually inapparent disease
TYPICAL GROSS FINDINGS:
- Duodenum and proximal jejunum; occasionally pancreas
- 2-6 mm gray-green/black-brown serosal nodules, marbled on cut surface
- Nodules communicate with the lumen by 1 mm brownish-red ulcers and often contain a mass of sexually mature, 1 cm hair-like worms
- Mesenteric lymph nodes enlarged and reddish
TYPICAL LIGHT MICROSCOPIC FINDINGS:
- Progression of three types of cysts:
- Newly formed cysts with predominately neutrophils; numerous worms
- Advanced cysts with fewer neutrophils and more macrophages, eosinophils and lymphocytes (eosinophilic granuloma); fibrotic strands penetrate cyst lumen; fewer worms
- Chronic cyst with almost complete replacement by fibrosis; no worms
- Parasitic granulomas associated with large mesenteric blood vessels and vessels at the periphery of the granuloma; worms and eggs possibly intravascular within fibrin thrombi
- Neutrophilic and lymphocytic periductular pancreatitis with intraductular nematodes and eggs; chronic – pancreatic fibrosis
- Subacute mesenteric and pancreatic lymphadenitis may be present
- Molineus torulosus has the following characteristics: Conspicuous external longitudinal ridges projecting from the cuticle; platymyarian-meromyarian musculature; intestine composed of few multinucleate cells with shorter thinner microvillar layer and fewer nuclei than strongylids; large paired excretory gland cells; copulatory bursa in males
- Oesophagostomum: Cause serosal nodules predominantly in the colon of Old World monkeys; very rare in New World species; histologically only larvae present in nodules
- Nochtia nochti: Trichostrongyle; produces papillomatous mucosal nodules in the stomach of Old World monkeys; cuticular ridges external to the lateral cords fused and divergent from one another, a unique feature of Nochtia
- Prosthenorchis: Acanthocephalan; produces serosal nodules in the large intestine, occasionally the terminal ileum or ileocecal region of New World monkeys; attached to the mucosal surface; lemnisci and a thick hypodermis are unique microscopic features
- Intramural granulomas caused by schistosomes may appear as intestinal nodules, but can be easily differentiated histologically
- Pancreatic lesions must be differentiated from similar lesions caused by other worms such as the spirurid Trichospirura leptostoma
- Abee CR, Mansfield K, Tardif S, Morris T. Nonhuman Primates in Biomedical Research: Diseases. San Diego, CA: Academic Press; 2012: 233-234.
- Brack M, Myers BJ, Kuntz RE. Pathogenic properties of Molineus torulosus in Capuchin monkeys, Cebus apella. Lab Anim Sci. 1973; 23:360-5.
- Chitwood M, Lichtenfels JR. Identification of parasitic metazoa in tissue sections. Exp Parasitol. 1972; 32:407-519.
- Durette-Desset MC, Fribourg Blanc LA, Vuong PN. Molineus torulosus (Nematoda, Trichostrongylina, Molineoidea) a parasite of neotropical primates: New morphological and histological data. Parasite. 2001; 8(1):53-60.
- Miguel MP, Duarte SC, Santos AS. Mortality of Cebus apella by Molineus torulosus parasitism in midwestern Brazil. Acta Scientiae Veterinariae. 2013; 41(1):1-4.
- Toft II JD. The pathoparasitology of the alimentary tract and pancreas of nonhuman primates: a review. Vet Pathol. 1982; 19(Suppl. 7):44-92.