Parasitology Research

, Volume 115, Issue 5, pp 2051–2059 | Cite as

Fecundity reduction of BALB/c mice after survival from lethal Neodiplostomum seoulense infection

  • Eun-Hee Shin
  • Tai-Kyun Im
  • Yun-Kyu Park
  • Jaeeun Cho
  • Jae-Lip Kim
  • Jong-Yil ChaiEmail author
Original Paper


Neodiplostomum seoulense (Digenea: Neodiplostomidae), an intestinal trematode infecting humans and rodents, is known to be highly pathogenic and lethal to experimentally infected mice. Only a small proportion of mice can survive from its infection. This study aimed to assess the reproductive capacity of surviving BALB/c mice. The fertility of male and female mice, birth time (period from mating to birth of litters), number of litters, size and weight of testes or ovary-oviduct-uterus, apoptosis of testicular cells, and serum levels of sex hormones were determined. Our results revealed that surviving mice underwent severe fecundity reduction and finally became infertile. They could not be able to produce generations beyond F4. Fertility rate, birth time, and number of litters of N. seoulense-infected mice were all significantly (p < 0.05) lower than those of uninfected controls, Metagonimus miyatai (less pathogenic intestinal trematode)-infected, or castor oil (severe diarrheal agent)-administered controls. The size and weight of testes or ovary-oviduct-uterus were markedly (p < 0.05) decreased after N. seoulense infection. Moreover, the number of apoptotic cells in the testicular tissue was significantly (p < 0.05) increased (up to 10–50-folds) during weeks 1–3 post-infection. Serum testosterone levels in infertile mice were reduced to 1/10 level of fertile mice. These results indicated that BALB/c mice surviving N. seoulense infection underwent destruction and apoptosis of gonad tissues with fecundity reduction. They were finally infertile, with no ability to produce their next generations.


Neodiplostomum seoulense Intestinal fluke Fecundity reduction Infertility Gonad degeneration 



This work was supported by a grant (Research Fund no. 800–20060235) from Seoul National University College of Medicine, Republic of Korea.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eun-Hee Shin
    • 1
  • Tai-Kyun Im
    • 2
  • Yun-Kyu Park
    • 3
  • Jaeeun Cho
    • 2
  • Jae-Lip Kim
    • 2
  • Jong-Yil Chai
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Parasitology and Tropical MedicineSeoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, and Seoul National University Bundang HospitalSeongnamRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Parasitology and Tropical MedicineSeoul National University College of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Tropical MedicineInha University College of MedicineIncheonRepublic of Korea

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