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Susceptibility of four species of copepods from areas of endemic dracunculus medinensis to the north american dracunculus insignis

Susceptibility of four species of copepods from areas of endemic dracunculus medinensis to the north american dracunculus insignis

Annals of Tropical Medicine & Parasitology 85(6): 637-643

Studies of the relative importance of different copepod species in areas of endemic dracunculiasis have been restricted, in part, by limited access to Dracunculus medinensis. However, development of the D. insignis-ferret model provides a source of larvae of a species closely related to D. medinensis. Using larvae derived from this model, the susceptibility of four species of copepods from D. medinensis-endemic areas was compared to that of Canadian Acanthocyclops vernalis, which is fully susceptible to D. insignis. Cryptocyclops linjanticus, from Cameroon, was susceptible but highly sensitive to infection, resulting in high mortality. Mesocyclops aequatorialis similis, also from Cameroon, was fully susceptible, but M. leuckarti leuckarti from Pakistan was partially refractory to D. insignis, as was Thermocyclops emini from Cameroon. Comparisons of infection rates and mean and maximum larval recoveries at three to four and 16-20 days after infection indicated that exposur to 15 first-stage larvae exceeded the threshold of tolerance of A. vernalis, C. linjanticus and M. a. similis to infection with D. insignis. This may account for a decreased survival rate in these copepods which is not evident in the partially refractory T. emini and M. l. leuckarti. The patterns of susceptibility of these copepods to D. insignis are the same as those of copepods exposed to D. medinensis, and indicate that D. insignis can be used to examine factors influencing the susceptibility of copepods to dracunculid infection.

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