Parasitology

Research Article

Delayed tail loss during the invasion of mouse skin by cercariae of Schistosoma japonicum

TING WANGa1, ZHENG-MING FANGa1, JIA-HUI LEIa1, FEI GUANa1, WEN-QI LIUa1, ANN BARTLETTa2, PHIL WHITFIELDa2 and YONG-LONG LIa1 c1

a1 Department of Parasitology, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 13 Hangkong Road, Wuhan 430030, China

a2 School of Biomedical & Health Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences Division, King's College London, 150 Stamford Street, London SE1 9NN, UK

SUMMARY

A traditional assumption is that schistosome cercariae lose their tails at the onset of penetration. It has, however, recently been demonstrated that, for Schistosoma mansoni, cercarial tails were not invariably being shed as penetration took place and a high proportion of tails entered human skin under experimental conditions. This phenomenon was termed delayed tail loss (DTL). In this paper, we report that DTL also happens with S. japonicum cercariae during penetration of mouse skin. It occurred at all cercarial densities tested, from as few as 10 cercariae/2·25 cm2 of mouse skin up to 200 cercariae. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that there was a density-dependent increase in DTL as cercarial densities increased. No such density-dependent enhancement was shown for percentage attachment over the same cercarial density range.

(Received August 15 2011)

(Revised September 07 2011)

(Accepted September 07 2011)

(Online publication October 24 2011)

Correspondence:

c1 Corresponding author: Department of Parasitology, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 13 Hangkong Road, Wuhan 430030, China. Tel: +86 27 83657670. E-mail: lylongtj@163.com

Metrics