Neorickettsia helminthoeca and salmon poisoning disease: A review

Selwyn Arlington Headley, Diana G. Scorpio, Odilon Vidotto, J. Stephen Dumler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Neorickettsia helminthoeca is an obligate intra-cytoplasmic bacterium that causes salmon poisoning disease (SPD), an acute, febrile, fatal disease of dogs. The complex life-cycle of this pathogen involves stages in an intestinal fluke (Nanophyetus salmincola), a river snail (Oxytrema silicula), in fish, and in fish-eating mammals. This complexity has created confusion with respect to the various bacterial and parasitic infections associated with the disease and its significance in dogs in specific geographical locations has likely to have previously been under-estimated. This paper addresses the history, taxonomy, microbiology of N. helminthoeca and summarises the pathogenesis, clinical signs and pathological features associated with infection. Furthermore, the biological cycles, treatment, control, and both public and veterinary health impacts associated with this pathogen and the intestinal fluke N. salmincola are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-173
Number of pages9
JournalVeterinary Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Dogs
  • Nanophyetus salmincola
  • Neorickettsia helminthoeca
  • Oxytrema silicula
  • Salmon poisoning disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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