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Dtsch Tierarztl Wochenschr. 1998 May;105(5):175-81.

Further studies on Trypanosoma mukasai HOARE, 1932 and its biological vector Batracobdelloides tricarinata (BLANCHARD, 1897).

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  • Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Moushtohour, Tukh, Benha University, Egypt.


Trypanosoma mukasai from the blood of Clarias lazera was successfully transmitted to eight fresh water fish species using B. tricarinata as vector. Such cross transmission showed that the trypanosome was not host specific. Previously described fish trypanosome species were morphologically indistinguishable, and on the basis of the present result they were regarded as a single species, T. mukasai. Trypanosomes increased in size the longer they remained in fishes and they were observed for up to 7 months in surviving fishes. In B. tricarinata, they survived over a period of 10 months involving 18 meals after the initial blood meal, provided the fasting period did not exceed 28-80 days. Survival was attributed to residual stages in the crop. The population ecology of B. tricarinata revealed an increase of the total population and of brooding of eggs and/or youngs during spring and summer. Although, the leech fed on a broad spectrum of hosts, certain fishes such as Chrysichthys auratus were preferred. Also, certain sites (e.g. the head in C. auratus) were preferred to others. The amount of blood ingested varied from two to about three times its body weight. Time for digestion of blood was dependent on the size of the leech as well as the species of the fish. The histopathological changes at the attachment sites of leeches were studied.

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