Encystment in vitro of the Cercariae Himasthla elongata (Trematoda: Echinostomatidae)

  • A. M. Gorbushin
  • I. A. Levakin
Comparative and Ontogenic Physiology


Trigger and toxic effects of Mytilus edulis (Bivalvia) hemolymph on encystment of cercariae Himasthla elongata obtained from infestated Littorina littorea (Prosobranchia) was evaluated as a result of 24-h experiments in vitro. The contact of H. elongata larvae with the whole hemolymph or mussel acellular plasma led to an intensive transformation of cercariae into metacercariae. In both tested media, the cercariae had to complete the encystment phase as fast as for 2 h, otherwise the risk of the larvae injury by humoral and cellular components of the mussel hemolymph would increase dramatically. The cercaria mortality after 24 h in the whole hemolymph was twice higher than in plasma (40% and 20%, respectively) and much higher than in the control medium (sea water). Both toxic and trigger effects of plasma was revealed to depend on its concentration, with the maximal larva mortality in the undiluted medium and with the highest number of successful transformations in the medium diluted more than 4 times. There is shown both the strong individual variability of toxicity of the individual mussel hemolymph for cercariae and the variability of the resistance to the toxic factors of the cercariae obtained from various L. littorea individuals. These experiments not only offer a method of the massive encystment of H. elongata cercariae, but also propose a perspective model for the study of the systemic defensive response of Bivalvia to invasion of multicellular parasite.


Cellular Component Control Medium Individual Variability Larva Mortality Mytilus Edulis 
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Copyright information

© MAIK "Nauka/Interperiodica" 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. M. Gorbushin
    • 1
  • I. A. Levakin
    • 2
  1. 1.St. Petersburg State UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia
  2. 2.Zoological InstituteRussian Academy of SciencesSt. PetersburgRussia

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