The adult tapeworm affects dogs, cats and other carnivores and the eggs are passed in the faeces of these hosts into freshwater, where they are ingested by the first intermediate host, planktonic copepods. They mature into procercoid larvae, which are ingested by mice, frogs, snakes and birds, the second intermediate host, and develop into plerocercoid larvae. When the flesh of these animals is eaten by the primary host, the life cycle is completed. Humans act as accidental second intermediate hosts for this organism (Holodniy et al., 1991).

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