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Infection characteristics of Himasthla elongata cercariae in cockles as a function of water current
de Montaudoüin, X.; Wegeberg, A.M.; Jensen, K.T.; Sauriau, P.G. (1998). Infection characteristics of Himasthla elongata cercariae in cockles as a function of water current. Dis. Aquat. Org. 34: 63-70
In: Diseases of Aquatic Organisms. Inter Research: Oldendorf/Luhe. ISSN 0177-5103, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • de Montaudoüin, X.
  • Wegeberg, A.M.
  • Jensen, K.T.
  • Sauriau, P.G., more

    Digenean trematodes are widespread parasites of marine fauna. The firstintermediate host of Himasthla elongata (Echinostomatidae) is the periwinkle Littorinalittorea. The second host is less specific, as it includes various bivalve species. Thedefinitive host is a waterbird. The free-living cercaria acts to ensure transmission fromthe first and second intermediate hosts. We examined the impact of water flow (stilland running water) and host size (6-8, 8-10, 10-12 mm shell length classes) on thesettling success of H. elongata cercariae in the second intermediate host by utilizinghe common cockle Cerastoderma edule. Under 2 scenarios (free-stream velocity of0 and 6 cm s super(-1)) more than 90% of the experimental population of cockles(90 individuals per replicate) acquired infections and 60% of the added cercariae were recovered as metacercariae in cockle tissue (mainly foot and siphons). Infectionintensity increased significantly with cockle size. Considering the filtering capacity ofcockles, the dimension of the flume, and the flow velocity, a passive infectionmechanism is proposed based on the suspension feeding activity of the hostorganism. The scale of potential dispersal of H. elongata is at least a few hundredmeters.

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