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Density-dependent regulation of the growth of the hookworms Necator americanus and Ancylostoma ceylanicum

  • S. M. B. Norozian-Amiri (a1) and J. M. Behnke (a1)

Summary

Laboratory bred DSN hamsters were exposed to varying doses of infective larvae of Ancylostoma ceylanicum (orally) or Necator americanus (percutaneously) and were autopsied at times which corresponded to a period immediately before cessation of growth of worms or soon afterwards. A total of 829 (404 male and 425 female) A. ceylanicum and 1582 (781 male and 801 female) N. americanus were measured. At worm burdens of fewer than 100, the length of A. ceylanicum appeared to increase with infection intensity and no evidence was found that growth was retarded under crowded conditions. In an experiment comparing directly low (mean worm burden = 22) and heavy infections (mean worm burden = 180) significant negative associations between both weight and width, and worm burden were detected, but length again increased with worm burden. In contrast, 5 experiments with N. americanus indicated negative relationships between measures of worm size (length, width, wet and dry weight) and worm burden. It was concluded that N. americanus is subject to regulation by density-dependent processes within the host while A. ceylanicum is not sensitive to the same degree.

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Density-dependent regulation of the growth of the hookworms Necator americanus and Ancylostoma ceylanicum

  • S. M. B. Norozian-Amiri (a1) and J. M. Behnke (a1)

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