Morphological characterization of adult Fascioloides magna (Trematoda: Fasciolidae): first SEM report
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Five adult Fascioloides magna specimens were recovered from the livers of naturally infected calves from Texas, USA. Scanning electron microscopy was used to study the morphological characteristics of the trematodes. These mature flukes measured 35–100 mm in length by 15–25 mm in width and had an oval dorsoventrally flattened body, with no anterior cone. The tegument was armed with sharp spines. Around the oral and ventral suckers, some of the spines were small, with a sharp point, while others had serrated edges with 15–22 sharp points. The surface of the oral sucker was covered by an interesting pattern of tegument, small dome-shaped and ciliated papillae. The ventral sucker showed a smooth surface and two unknown spine-like structures. There were fewer spines at the base of the genital pore than on other parts of the anterior end of the worm. At the anterior end of the ventral side, well-developed spines were observed, while at the posterior end of the ventral side, the spines were small, mostly with one or three points and blunted edges. At the posterior end of the dorsal side, the spines became progressively fewer, smaller, and shorter. Around the excretory pore, the tegument was folded, with no spines, and small groups of dome-shaped and ciliated papillae were present. The cirrus organ showed a smooth surface, with small pores on the dorsal side and small groups of tiny spines between the folds. The eggs measured 168 × 101 μm and had a protoplasmic appendage at the pole opposite the operculum. At the posterior end of the dorsal side, and toward the right, a pore with a very thin rim was present, which could be the terminus of Laurer’s canal.
We heartily thank members of the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, for providing the specimens of F. magna. Also, we would like to express our gratitude to Professor Larry A. Arsenault, head of the electron microscope facility, Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, for his assistance in providing access to SEM facilities during the study. In addition, we would like to acknowledge the valuable help of Mr. Ernie Spitzer, Chief Technician, and all of the technicians in the electron microscope facility. Lastly, we appreciate our colleague Dr. Saeed Maslak for his great assistance in editing the SEM images.
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