Maintenance of the life cycle of Echinostoma trivolvis (Trematoda) in dexamethasone-treated ICR mice and laboratory-raised Helisoma trivolvis (Gastropoda)
Echinostoma trivolvis is a ubiquitous 37-collar-spined echinostome found in aquatic birds and mammals and in the planorbid snail Helisoma trivolvis. This echinostome has not been cycled continously in the laboratory. The present report provides details on the continuous life cycle of E. trivolvis in dexamethasone-treated ICR mice and laboratory-raised H. trivolvis snails. Previous attempts to obtain patent adult of E. trivolvis in mice hosts failed because of worm rejection within 2 weeks of infection. ICR mice infected with encysted metacercariae and injected with 2 mg/kg dexamethasone daily for 28 days yielded gravid worms that produced 250–500 eggs/worm at 21 and 28 days postinfection (p.i.). Miracidia derived from these eggs or eggs containing fully developed miracidia were capable of infecting 3- to 5-mm shell-diameter, laboratory-reared H. trivolvis snails. These snails released cercariae by 35 days p.i. Cercariae encysted in the kidney-pericardium of the snails. Encysted metacercariae could be excysted in vitro in an alkaline trypsin-bile salts medium or in vivo when fed to domestic chicks.
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