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Host-finding capacity of schistosome cercariae: comparative efficiency of methods of mouse infection and a radioisotope assay system

  • Niels Ørnbjerg Christensen (a1), Flemming Frandsen (a1) and Peter Nansen (a2)

Abstract

The efficiency of five different methods of infection of mice with Schistosoma mansoni or S. intercalatum cercariae was compared; of these the ring method, the tail immersion technique, and the paddling method were found to be the most effective.

A new radioisotope assay system for cercarial host-finding capacity is described. This employs the tail immersion technique with radiolabelled S. mansoni cercariae. The amount of tail-bound radioactivity retained after exposure to radiolabelled cercariae was used to measure the host-finding capacity of the cercariae under various experimental conditions. A direct proportionality was found to exist between the number of penetrating radiolabelled cercariae and the subsequent tail-bound radioactivity. Also, a direct proportionality was demonstrated between the number of labelled larvae available in the suspension and the subsequent tail-bound radioactivity. The influence of light and of length of exposure period on cercarial host-finding was analysed. After an exposure period of 30 minutes the amount of radioactivity confined to tails in the light greatly exceeded that of tails exposed in total darkness. However, after 60 minutes comparable radioactivity levels were achieved in the tails exposed in the light or in total darkness, respectively. In the light, maximum tail-bound radioactivity was achieved after 20 minutes exposure and no further change was observed in the radioactivity level at 40 and 60 minutes.

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Host-finding capacity of schistosome cercariae: comparative efficiency of methods of mouse infection and a radioisotope assay system

  • Niels Ørnbjerg Christensen (a1), Flemming Frandsen (a1) and Peter Nansen (a2)

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