Raccoon roundworms (Baylisascaris procyonis) and other Baylisascaris species cause patent or latent larva migrans (LM) in a variety of mammals and birds, including humans. It is not clear whether LM by Baylisascaris transfuga, roundworms of bears, is associated with clinical neurological disorders. To clarify this issue, ICR and BALB/c mice as well as Mongolian jirds (Meriones unguiculatus) were orally inoculated with 2,000–5,000 embryonated eggs of B. transfuga. In mice, the ascarid caused symptomatic LM of limited extent and duration, whereas the infection was fatal in jirds; i.e., they exhibited general signs such as severe depression and emaciation on days 8–11 postinfection (PI) and died, or they developed progressive and fatal neurological disorders after day 14 PI. Histological examination showed B. transfuga larvae in the brain of all mice and jirds examined, and the larvae collected from them developed to a size comparable with that of B. procyonis. There existed, however, critical differences in host reactions against larvae localized in the brain of mice and jirds; B. transfuga larvae found in mice were surrounded by granulomatous reactions and immobilized, whereas larvae found in jirds were free from any host reaction and mobile, causing extensive malacia.

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