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Behaviours in trematode cercariae that enhance parasite transmission: patterns and processes

  • C. Combes (a1), A. Fournier (a1), H. Moné (a1) and A. Théron (a1)


Cercariae, like miracidia, are non-parasitic larval stages implicated in the life cycle of all trematodes for the host-to-host parasite transmission. Almost all cercariae are free-living in the external environment. With a few exceptions (cercariae of Halipegus occidualis (Halipegidae) can live several months, Shostak & Esch, 1990a), cercariae have a short active life during which they do not feed, living on accumulated reserves. Most cercariae encyst as metacercariae in second intermediate hosts which are prey of the definitive host; in certain species, the interruption of the active life is achieved by an encystment in the external environment (or a simple immobile waiting strategy in a few species). In some two-host life cycles, the cercariae develop into adults after penetration (this is the case for various species causing human schistosomiasis). Some cercariae do not leave the mollusc which must then be ingested by the definitive host.



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Behaviours in trematode cercariae that enhance parasite transmission: patterns and processes

  • C. Combes (a1), A. Fournier (a1), H. Moné (a1) and A. Théron (a1)


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