Oxyspirura mansoni, commonly known as the eye worm, is a type of parasitic roundworm that live in the eyes of their bird hosts. The disease caused by Oxyspirura worms is called oxyspiruriasis or oxypirurosis. O. mansoni are most frequently found in tropical and subtropical regions.
Identification of worm eggs
O. mansoni are small (approximately 15mm long, ranging from 8 to 22 mm) white worms that are covered in a cuticle. They have a rounded anterior and pointed posterior.
O. mansoni have an indirect life cycle and use cockroaches as intermediate hosts. Chickens become infected by eating contaminated cockroaches. After digestion infective larvae are released in the bird's gut. They migrate along the esophagus the pharynx and the mouth to the lacrimal duct and the eyes. Once there, they complete development to adult worms and start producing eggs. The prepatent period (time between infection and first eggs shed) is 4 to 5 weeks.