Optimization of metacercarial production for three digenean species by the use of petri dishes for raising lettuce-fed Galba truncatula
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Experimental infections of Galba truncatula with Fasciola hepatica, Fascioloides magna, or Paramphistomum daubneyi were carried out at 20°C to determine if the use of 14-cm petri dishes for breeding lettuce-fed snails enhanced the characteristics of snail infections. Compared to infected snails raised in boxes up to day 30 post-exposure and later in individual 35-mm dishes, the survival of G. truncatula kept in 14-cm dishes and the shell height of cercariae-shedding snails during the first 45 days were higher, whatever the digenean species is. The consequence of such enhanced characteristics was a greater production of metacercariae in the case of F. hepatica (1.7 to 5.6 times higher) and P. daubneyi (2.3 times). In contrast, metacercariae of F. magna were few in number, whatever the method of snail breeding is, and this might be explained by a still incomplete adaptation between the parasite of Czech origin and the French population of G. truncatula. The use of these 14-cm dishes reduced the time necessary for snail maintenance and metacercaria collection, thus allowing a decrease in the cost price of these larvae for commercial production.
The authors are grateful to Dr. A. Novobilský, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic, for providing eggs of F. magna.
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