The effects of snail size and diet on encystment of Echinostoma caproni cercariae in juvenile Helisoma trivolvis (Colorado strain) snails were studied. Encystment in neonatal (<1-mm shell diameter) and juvenile (2- to 3-mm shell diameter) snails was compared 24 hr postinfection (PI) after individual exposure of snails of each size to 1, 5, 10, 25, or 50 cercariae. Significantly more cysts were recovered from juvenile snails exposed to 10, 25, or 50 cercariae than from neonatals with comparable exposure. The maximum number of cysts recovered from juveniles exposed to 50 cercariae was 42, compared with a maximum of 15 cysts in neonatals comparably exposed. Size of H. trivolvis was a major factor in determining cyst burden in this planorbid. A diet of either Romaine lettuce leaf or hen's egg yolk did not have a significant effect on the number of cysts recovered at 24 hr PI from juvenile snails exposed to 25 or 75 cercariae. Survival of infected versus uninfected neonatals was also examined for 7 days. Neonatals exposed to 10 cercariae showed a significant decrease in survival at 6 and 7 days PI when compared with uninfected controls.

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