Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 September 2007
Histological investigations in Galba truncatula naturally or experimentally co-infected with Fasciola hepatica and Paramphistomum daubneyi were carried out to study parasite development and the responses of the digestive gland and kidney of snails, as larval forms of these digeneans often use these two sites for their growth within the snail's body. The number of live rediae per snail ranged from 2.4 to 4.2 for the dominating parasite (it developed in the digestive gland) and was less than 2.0 for the other species. When the dominating species was F. hepatica, most snails harboured cercariae-containing rediae; if this parasite was P. daubneyi, procercariae-containing rediae with or without free procercariae were observed in most snails. In contrast, most rediae of the other species were immature. The pathology caused by the dominating species in the digestive gland was greater than that recorded in the kidney, where the other parasite was generally located. The most frequent tissue lesions in the digestive gland were generalized epithelial necrosis and epithelial reconstitution. In the kidney, multifocal epithelial necrosis was frequently observed, particularly when P. daubneyi was the dominating species. The frequencies of lesions in the digestive gland agreed with percentages reported by our team in other snails mono-infected with F. hepatica or P. daubneyi. In contrast, multifocal necrosis in the kidney was clearly greater in the present study and this finding might be explained by assuming that a sufficient number of free larvae within the snail would be necessary for the development of epithelial necrosis in the whole kidney.