North-East India Helminth Parasite Information Database

Capillaria contorta (Travassos Travassos) Creplin 1839 Back


Nematoda »
               Trichuridae (Ransom, 1911) Railliet, 1915 »
                     Capillarinae Railliet, 1915 »
                             Capillaria Zeder, 1800 »
                                    Capillaria contorta (Creplin 1839), Travassos 1915


(Trichosoma contortum Creplin, 1839; Thominx contorta (Creplin, 1839) Travassos, 1915)


Gallus (gallus domesticus)


Intestine, Caecum


Shillong (Meghalaya), Nongstoin (Meghalaya), Mairang (Meghalaya)



Body thread like, long. Mouth very simple. unadorned with bacillary bands. Cuticle striated transversely. Oesophageal portion shorter, only slightly thinner than post-oesophageal portion. Oesophagus gradually increasing in size posteriorly.


Body length 8.0-11.2 mm, maximum width 0.05-0.06 mm in stouter posterior part. Caudal end straight. Anus terminal with thin muscular wall at anterior and posterior to points of entry of spicule. Two prominent inflations present on either side of tip of tail. Spicule long, slender with blunt tip, enveloped in sheath covered with fine hair-like processes.


Body 18.0-52.0 mm in length, 0.10-0.14 mm in maximum width in posterior part. Posterior end bluntly rounded. Anus opening terminally. Vulva close behind junction of oesophagus and intestine, its anterior lip slightly prominent and protruding outwardly. Ovary, uterus single, both simple in nature; latter leading to vagina. Eggs elliptical, smooth shelled, 0.046-0.055 x 0.018-0.23 mm.


There is perhaps no other group of nematodes, particularly among those of birds, in which the existing description of the species so inadequate as in Capillaria. This is probably because of the simple organization and thread-like form of the worms which pose a problem in examination and thus inaccurate identification of the species. In most of the body characters C. contorta closely resembles other species of the genus, such as C.annulata and C. columbae, known to occur in the caecum of domestic fowl (Deo, 1964). However, these species could be best separated from one another mainly on the basis of the male reproductive structures; C. contorta possesses a protrusible spicule sheath which is beset with fine hair-like spines throughout its length; C. columbae also possesses a similar spicule sheath but lacks the spines on its surface; in C. annulata the sheath is reported to be lacking in the spicule (Wassilkowa and Gouchanskaja, 1930); additionally the cuticle at the anterior extremity forms a characteristic swelling in the latter, which is absent in C. contorta.

In context of India,  C. columbae has also been recorded in fowl of Bombay and Uttar Pradesh (Bhalerao and Rao, 1944). The present description tallies with that of Travassos, (1915), except for some minor variation in the spicule length; in the original description the spicule is mentioned to be 0.8 mm long.

Helminthological collections record

NEHU/Z - NM/15


Raja EE. 1974. Parasitic infections in rodents, especially those communicable to man and animals. Cheiron. 3(2): 173-174.

Niphadkar SM and Sardeshpande PD. 1978. Study on the ecology and histopathology of Capillaria hepatica in rats in Bombay. Abstracts of the Asian Congress of Parasitology. Haffkine Institute, Bombay. 23-26 February: 309.

Naidu TSV and Thakare VK. 1980. Pathomorphology of liver and bile duct of Bandicoot rat Bandicota indica (Bechstein); infected with the nematode Capillaria hepatica ( Bancroft, 1893) Travassos, 1915. Current Science. 49(11): 451-452.

Somvanshi R, Bhattacharya D, Laha R and Rangarao GSC 1995.  Spontaneous Capillaria hepatica infestation in wild rats (Rattus rattus). Indian Journal of Veterinary Pathology, 19: 44-45.

Chahota R, Asrani RK, Katoch RC and Jitendra KP. 1997.  Hepatic capillariasis in a wild rat (Rattus rattus). Journal of Veterinary Parasitology. 11: 87-90.

Bhattacharya D, Sikdar A, Sarma U, Ghosh AK and Biswas G. 1998. Concurrent infection of Capillaria hepatica and Cysticercus fasciolaris in rat (Rattus rattus), a preliminary note. Indian Veterinary Journal. 75: 486.

Raut CG, Gengaje BB, Nipunage SV, Rajarshsi MP, Vaidya SR, Rane SR, Pol SS and Pohale KN. 2003. Capillaria hepatica infection in a Bandicoot rat Bandicota indica. Journal of Veterinary Parasitology. 17(1): 71-72.

Raut CG, Gengaje BB, Nipunage SV, Rajarshsi MP, Vaidya SR, Rane SR, Pol SS and Pohale KN. 2003. Capillaria hepatica infection in a Bandicoot rat Bandicota indica. Journal of Veterinary Parasitology. 17(1): 71-72.

Patel AK, Bhattacharya D, Chattopadhyay UK, Bera AK and Sikdar A. 2004. Capillariasis in rats: Prevalence and pathoanatomical evaluation. Journal of Veterinary Parasitology. 18 (1): 17-21.

Bhattacharya A, Kumar VJA and Rekha VB. 2005 Capillaria hepatica infections among rats in Pondicherry. Indian Journal of Animal Sciences. 75(6): 652-653.