HELMINTHOLOGIA, 38, 3:115-121, 2001

Morphological and morphometric study of Spirocerca lupi


Laboratori de Parasitologia, Facultat de Farmŕcia, Universitat de Barcelona,

Av. Joan XXIII sn, E-08028, Barcelona, Spain, E-mail: jmiquel@farmacia.far.ub.es


The present study provides a detailed morphological redescription of Spirocerca lupi (Rudolphi, 1809) by means of light and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The present redescription agrees with previous descriptions except in some aspects that have been considered as individual anomalies. The study also includes a comprehensive morphometric analysis of several specimens of S. lupi in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from the Iberian Peninsula. The absolute growth rate of the oesophagus of S. lupi is higher in males than in females. The body region of S. lupi showing the most marked growth is the reproductive zone, which contains all the reproductive organs. In juvenile females, the vulva is located at the level of the oesophagus but in older specimens it is post-oesophageal. The left spicule grows with age, whereas the right spicule reaches its full development in young (less than 25 mm length) specimens.


HELMINTHOLOGIA, 38, 3:123-127, 2001

Structural characteristics of the integument and the intestinal wall of gongylonema pulchrum (molin, 1857)


Institute of Experimental Pathology and Parasitology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Acad. G. Bonchev Str., Bl. 25, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria; 1Central Laboratory of Game Biology and Diseases, 5 Iskarsko Shose Str., 1528 Sofia, Bulgaria

E-mail: boevsky@ttm.bg


The epithelial surfaces (integument and intestine) of the nematode, Gongylonema pulchrum, are examined by electron microscopy. The integument is composed of cuticle and hypodermis. The latter is adjacent to the somatic musculature. There are structural differences between the cuticle of the anterior third and the rest of the worm body, with regards to number and morphological characteristics of the cuticular layers. The intestinal epithelium is composed of cells covered with numerous microvilli at their lumenal surface. The cells comprise of terminal web, cytoplasm containing endoplasmic reticulum and secretory bodies and lysosomes, nucleus, basal plasmalemma and basement membrane. The described ultrastructure is related to the main functions of the two epithelial surfaces - absorption, digestion, secretion, transport, protection, movement.


HELMINTHOLOGIA, 38, 3:129-133, 2001

Social attitudes to human onchocercosis, and it’s economic impact on some rural farming communities of imo river basin, Nigeria


Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, PMB 7267, Umuahia, Abia State , Nigeria


A random selection of 420 clinical cases (respondents with musculo-skeletal pains, ocular and skin lesions ), and 380 non clinical cases (respondents with no clinical manifestations), were made using physical examination method. The social impact on clinical cases included feeling of helplessness, insecure, frustration, inferior, tendency to withdraw from people and reduced interaction with others. The non - clinical cases on the other hand felt less inclined to sleep with, have intercourse or do any thing at all with the infected. Economically, onchocercosis reduced the frequency of attendance to work and productive out put of more than 70 % of the clinical cases, resulting to an estimated annual lost of about U.S.$ 862,706.3 to the surveyed rural communities. Additionally, about 75 % of the non clinical cases refused to employ infected persons simply because of the disease. The direct and indirect adverse impact of onchocercosis on food production and economy of these rural farming communities is unquestionable. Integration of a well organized public enlightenment campaign and health education with the on going ivermectin distribution is discussed.


HELMINTHOLOGIA, 38, 3:135-137, 2001

The presence of infective larvae of equine strongyles in various parts of horse boxes


Section of Parasitology, Department of Zoology and Fishery, Prague, Czech University of Agriculture, Czech Republic, E- mail:langrova@af.czu.cz


Investigations of the litter and scraps originating from various parts of horse boxes were carried out to study the level of stable infectivity with third-stage larvae of equine strongyles during the year. This survey was conducted on a thoroughbred stud farm, in the Czech Republic. Litter samples were obtained at 4-week intervals, a litter sample consisted approximately of 300 g of litter collected by hand from 10 places of the 10 individual boxes (from place under hay, under trough, under bucket with water, by exit, from the centre of the boxes, the scraps from the trough and the scraps from the walls up to 30, 50 and 100 cm). The results show that the centre of the boxes (38,89% of all infective larvae), and areas under bucket with water (34,60% of the larvae) were the most contaminated. Very little migration of infective larvae was observed on the walls (0,11% of larvae), larvae were also seen in the troughs (0,66% of larvae). The majority of infective larvae was recovered in summer and autumn.


HELMINTHOLOGIA, 38, 3:139-143, 2001

Diversity of endoparasitic helminths of fish from the lake Morské oko, Eastern Slovakia


Parasitological Institute, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Hlinkova 3, 04001 Košice, Slovak Republic, E-mail: hanzel@saske.sk


Endoparasitic helminths of ten fish species belonging to the families Salmonidae (2), Cyprinidae (6), Cobitidae (1) and Percidae (1) from the lake Morské oko (Eastern Slovakia) were investigated. Altogether 327 of 511 (64 %) fishes examined harboured nine helminth species: 4 nematodes (Camallanus truncatus, Philometra abdominalis, Rhabdochona denudata, Cystidicoloides ephemeridarum), 2 tapeworms (Proteocephalus longicollis, P. torulosus), 2 acanthocephalans (Neoechinorhynchus rutili, Pomphorhynchus laevis) and the digenean Bunodera luciopercae. All endoparasites were recognized as generalists and autogenic species. Four host-parasite combinations involved core species with the prevalence over 60 % within the parasite component communities: P. longicollis exceeded this infection level in rainbow trout (93 %) and N. rutili in brown trout (86 %), rainbow trout (80 %) and minnow (71 %). The highest component community richness was found in brown trout, chub and perch, each harbouring 5 helminth species. The parasite infracommunities consist mostly of one (60 %) or two (25 %) species with maximum 4 helminth species per an individual fish host. The average values of Brillouin´s index of diversity were low (mean = 0.21 ± 0.02; range 0 – 1.13; n = 511). The highest average Brillouin´s index (0.38 ± 0.03) was calculated for chub.


HELMINTHOLOGIA, 38, 3:145-149, 2001

Dendrometra ginesi Jordano and Diaz-Ungria, 1956 transferred to Orthoskrjabinia Spasskii, 1947 (Cestoda: Paruterinidae)


Parasite Biodiversity Group, Central Laboratory of General Ecology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 2 Gagarin Street, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria; E-mail: bbg@ecolab.bas.bg


Dendrometra ginesi Jordano and Diaz-Ungria, 1956, originally described as a parasite of Fregata magnificens (Pelecaniformes: Fregatidae) from Venezuela, is redescribed on the basis of paratype specimens. Dendrometra Jordano and Diaz-Ungria, 1956 is recognised a junior synonym of Orthoskrjabinia Spasskii, 1947. The new combination Orthoskrjabinia ginesi is proposed. The identification of the host needs further confirmation because this is the only paruterinid species reported from a marine bird.


HELMINTHOLOGIA, 38, 3:151-154, 2001

Justification of the species Cyathostoma (Hovorkonema) americana (Chapin, 1925) (Syngamidae – Nematoda)


1 Institute for Animal Science and Health (ID-Lelystad), P.O. Box 65, 8200 AB Lelystad, the Netherlands, E-mail: f.h.m.borgsteede@id.wag-ur.nl; 2 Department of General Parasitology, Microbiological Institute, University of WrocŁaw, Przybyszewskiego 63, 51-148 WrocŁaw, Poland


During a study of parasites of wild birds in the Netherlands belonging to the order Falconiformes, worms identified as Cyathostoma (Hovorkonema) americana were found in the air sacks of four out of 15 Accipiter gentilis, one out of 56 Buteo buteo and one out of four B. lagopus. Ryzhikov concluded in 1980 that C. americana was possibly identical to C. bronchialis, but, based on the present findings and measurements of these worms, the validity of the species which was originally described by Chapin in 1925 is justified.  It is concluded that C. americana lives in the air sacs of birds of prey, C. bronchialis lives in the trachea of geese (and possibly in birds of prey) and C. lari in the orbital sinuses of gulls (and occasionally birds of prey).


HELMINTHOLOGIA, 38, 3:155-163, 2001

Taxonomy of helminths after the year 2000


Institute of Parasitology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Branišovská 31, 370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic; E-mail: tscholz@paru.cas.cz


The first conference of Czech and Slovak helminthologists, known as ”Helminthological Days”, took place in South Moravia 10 years ago. Some of the achievements in the studies of the taxonomy and phylogeny of helminth parasites made since this first conference are briefly reviewed, with emphasis on the work of Czech and Slovak helminthologists. Despite a crisis of taxonomic research in parasitology and a critical shortage of trained taxonomists, several important events have occurred during the last decade of the 20th century. Monographic volumes with keys to the genera of cestodes (Khalil et al. 1994) and trematodes (Gibson et al., in press), based on a critical evaluation of material by specialists in respective groups, represent an invaluable source of taxonomic information for future research. Great progress has been made in studies on the phylogeny of helminths, especially parasitic flatworms (Neodermata), and an extensive data set of information about phylogenetic relationships of major groups of helminth parasites is now available. Combined phylogenetic analyses, inferred from morphological data and sequences of several genes, seem to represent a powerful tool for producing robust phylogenetic trees. Further development of modern systematics requires a close international collaboration and active participation of taxonomists in studies on the phylogeny of helminths and the evolution of parasitism.