Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Parasitol. 2013 Dec;99(6):966-9. doi: 10.1645/13-260.1. Epub 2013 Aug 15.

Shedding patterns of Daubaylia potomaca (Nematoda: Rhabditida).

Author information

Department of Biology, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27106.


Daubaylia potomaca is a nematode parasite that exhibits an unusual direct life cycle in planorbid snails in which adult females are the infective stage, after being shed from a definitive host. The present study examined the shedding patterns of this nematode to determine what cues or mechanisms might lead to the parasite leaving its host. A correlation was found between host death and the frequency and number of D. potomaca shed, suggesting that the nematodes can detect that the host is dying and may leave in search of a new host. Furthermore, elevated intensities of D. potomaca in the snail induce shedding earlier, suggesting that competition for space and resources may also play a role in the shedding patterns of the nematode, but not when time to death is controlled. Finally, nematodes shed a longer time before host death were significantly longer and more likely to be gravid than those shed as time to snail death approached, implying that the nematode reaching maturity or being inseminated might also be cues for D. potomaca to leave its snail host. In summary, the shedding patterns of D. potomaca appear to be a complex mix of host death detection, competition, and nematode maturation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for BioOne
    Loading ...
    Support Center