Acta Parasitologica

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 28–36 | Cite as

Cercarial dimensions and surface structures as a tool for species determination of Trichobilharzia spp.

  • Martin Podhorský
  • Zuzana Huůzová
  • Libor Mikeš
  • Petr Horák


Cercariae of bird schistosomes are traditionally considered to be very similar in their morphological characteristics. In order to solve the problem, we tested some methods which might be suitable for cercarial differentiation. Fourteen isolates of three Trichobilharzia species (T. szidati, T. franki, T. regenti) occurring sympatrically in Central Europe were used. Dimensions of individual cercariae do not represent a useful criterion for identification, because the intraspecific variability exceeds the interspecific one. On the other hand, chaetotaxy appears a promising way for discrimination, although some sensory papillae do not stain sufficiently with silver nitrate. The papillary pattern (i.e. number and relative position of papillae) is specific for all Trichobilharzia species studied by us. Therefore, we compiled an identification key for the three Trichobilharzia species. In addition, we tried to find species-specific surface saccharide epitopes; none of the labeled lectin probes can be used as a speciesspecific marker.


Trematoda schistosomes Trichobilharzia cercaria chaetotaxy surface carbohydrates 


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Copyright information

© © Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Podhorský
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zuzana Huůzová
    • 1
    • 3
  • Libor Mikeš
    • 1
  • Petr Horák
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Parasitology, Faculty of ScienceCharles University in PraguePrague 2Czech Republic
  2. 2.BIO-PLUS Ltd.BrnoCzech Republic
  3. 3.Regional Institute of Public Health PraguePrague 8Czech Republic

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