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Trichobilharzia ocellata infections in its snail host Lymnaea stagnalis: an in vitro study showing direct and indirect effects on the snail internal defence system, via the host central nervous system

  • R. I. Amen (a1) and M. De Jong-Brink (a2)


In this in vitro study we investigated whether previously described in vivo plasma-associated effects, that occurred in the period shortly after penetration of Trichobilharzia ocellata into the snail host Lymnaea stagnalis (1.5–72 h post-exposure; p.e.) were direct and/or indirect effects of parasite-derived factor(s). It was investigated whether the effect is mediated by the central nervous system (CNS) of the host. Phagocytic activity of the haemocytes was taken as a parameter for the activity of internal defence of the host. A number of preliminary experiments were performed. When the supernatant of in vitro cultured parasites (33 h; corresponding with their developmental stage in vivo when plasma-associated activation was found) was applied directly to monolayers of haemocytes, it appeared to enhance their phagocytic activity. No direct effect, however, was found with a supernatant of parasites cultured for a longer period of time (72 h; when, in vivo, a plasma-associated suppression was found). In this case, indirect suppression was detected: the parasites appeared to have released a factor that induced the CNS of the host to release material suppressing the activity of the internal defence system of the host. To date the nature of this factor is unknown.



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Trichobilharzia ocellata infections in its snail host Lymnaea stagnalis: an in vitro study showing direct and indirect effects on the snail internal defence system, via the host central nervous system

  • R. I. Amen (a1) and M. De Jong-Brink (a2)


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