Parasitology

Parasitology (2003), 127:1:21-27 Cambridge University Press
Copyright © 2003 Cambridge University Press
doi:10.1017/S003118200300324X

The morphological discrimination of microfilariae of Onchocerca volvulus from Mansonella ozzardi


R. J. POST a1c1, Z. ADAMS a1, A. J. SHELLEY a1, M. MAIA-HERZOG a2, A. P. A. LUNA DIAS a2 and S. COSCARÓN a3
a1 Department of Entomology, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK
a2 Departamento de Entomologia, FIOCRUZ, Ministério da Saúde, Avenida Brasil 4365, 21045-900 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
a3 Museo La Plata, Paseo del Bosque, La Plata, Argentina

Article author query
post r   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
adams z   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
shelley a   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
maia-herzog m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
luna dias a   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
coscaron s   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Abstract

There is no published account which allows the morphological discrimination of microfilariae of Onchocerca volvulus and M. ozzardi from each other. However, they occur together in parts of Brazil and Venezuela, and presumably there is always the possibility that migration could establish new sympatric populations in the future. The objective of this study was to evaluate simple morphological characters that might be used for species-diagnosis of microfilariae. The conclusions were that the location of microfilariae in the blood or skin, the body size and the nucleation of the nerve ring are expected to be useful first indications of species identity, but cannot be used for confident diagnosis. The structure of the cephalic armature (stained with alcian blue) seems to be species specific, but is of limited application because it is often difficult to see. However, the pattern of nucleation of the tail (as expressed by the ratio of the length of the terminal nucleus compared with the length of the tail space) is distinctive and is expected to be diagnostic.

(Received October 14 2002)
(Revised January 21 2003)
(Accepted January 21 2003)


Key Words: onchocerciasis; mansonelliasis; diagnosis; identification; Brazil.

Correspondence:
c1 Department of Entomology, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK. Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 5593. Fax: +44 (0)20 7942 5229. E-mail: r.post@nhm.ac.uk


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