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Development of Graphidium strigosum (Nematoda, Haemonchidae) in its natural host, the rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and comparison with several Haemonchidae parasites of ruminants


The morphogenesis (studied for the first time) and the chronology of the life cycle of Graphidium strigosum (Dujardin, 1845) were studied in detail in its natural host, Oryctolagus cuniculus. Naive rabbits were each infected per os with G. strigosum infective larvae (L3). Animals were euthanized each day for the first 10 days after infection (DAI), then every 2 days from 12 to 40 DAI. The free living period lasted 5–8 days at 24°C. By 1 DAI, all the larvae were exsheathed in the stomach. The third molt occurred between 9 and 17 DAI. The last molt occurred between 24 and 32 DAI. The prepatent period lasted 42–44 DAI, while the patent period lasted at least 13 months. For each experiment, the morphology of the different stages of the life cycle was described. The chronology of the G. strigosum life cycle and its morphogenesis were compared to those of different Haemonchidae parasites of ruminants (Ostertagia ostertagi, Teladorsagia circumcincta, Haemonchus contortus, and Haemonchus placei) in their natural hosts.

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We wish to thank Mrs Nathalie Dogna (MNHN-Paris) for her technical collaboration and Mr Limousin and his team for providing the rabbits (CR-INRA-Tours-France). The naturally infected rabbits were collected in Arboretum de Chèvreloup, France with the help of S. Barraud, Y. Chaval, and A. Roobrouck (deceased) (ONC-Office National de la Chasse, Département des études et de la recherche, France). We would like to devote this work to our friend Alain Roobrouck, (Bidou) who passed away in December 2007 and who contributed greatly in the catching of the rabbits for life cycle of G. strigosum. We also wish to thank P. Desset as nice driver in the field and Dr. K. Liittschwager (USA) for correcting the English manuscript.

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Correspondence to Fabienne Audebert.

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Massoni, J., Cassone, J., Durette-Desset, M. et al. Development of Graphidium strigosum (Nematoda, Haemonchidae) in its natural host, the rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and comparison with several Haemonchidae parasites of ruminants. Parasitol Res 109, 25–36 (2011).

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  • Larval Period
  • Infective Larva
  • Oryctolagus Cuniculus
  • Prepatent Period
  • Parasitic Life Cycle