In controlled experiments in an insect-free stable, cattle became infected with Parafilaria bovicola when Musca lusoria, infected with the larvae of this worm, were allowed to feed on a fresh skin incision, and when infective larvae were placed on fresh skin incisions, injected subcutaneously or into the jugular vein, or instilled into the eyes. The sites of blood spots caused by ovipositing P. bovicola females and the sites of carcass lesions were seldom close to the site of infection, an indication that the worms had migrated. The prepatent period of P. bovicola in 4 cattle which developed blood spots ranged from 242-319 days.
Neither of the infected cattle that were kept continuously in a shady stable showed blood spots, but 4 out of 7 infected cattle which spent some time in the sun bled. However, carcass lesions on shaded cattle were similar in appearance to those on cattle kept outdoors. Infective larvae were stimulated to escape from the mouth-parts of infected M. lusoria and Musca xanthomelas s.s. when these were fed citrated ox blood warmed to 38-40 °C. No escape took place when the flies were fed warmed saline or warmed 15% sucrose solution.
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