Abstract:

The migratory response of Echinostoma caproni to host feeding was examined in female ICR mice. Thirty-six mice were each infected with 20 metacercariae of E. caproni. Twenty-eight days post-infection, food, but not water, was withheld for 24 hr. Mice were haphazardly divided into 4 groups of 9, and each group received one of the following treatments: (1) 0.25 g glucose, (2) access to standard lab chow, (3) 0.5 ml saline, and (4) continued fasting. Three mice from each treatment group were killed 1, 2, and 4 hr post-treatment. The intestine of each mouse was removed, flash-frozen, and stored in a conventional freezer for later examination. Intestines were partially thawed, measured, and opened longitudinally, and the position of each worm, or worm cluster was measured. The intestine was divided into equal 5% segments based on the initial measurement and locations of worms, and worm clusters were recorded from the appropriate section of the intestine for analysis. There was no significant effect of treatment in the position of worms at 1 hr. There was a posterior shift in worm position in all treatment groups at 2 hr, except in the saline-treated mice; however, only worms in the glucose-fed mice were significantly posterior to the unfed controls. From 2 to 4 hr, there was a significant anterior movement of worms in both the glucose and chow-fed mice. The data strongly suggest that E. caproni responds to the initiation of gastric activity of the host by migrating anteriorly in the ileum. The specific stimulus for this migration is unknown.

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