Cercariae of a Bird Schistosome Follow a Similar Emergence Pattern under Different Subarctic Conditions: First Experimental Study
AuthorSoldánová, Miroslava; Born-Torrijos, Ana; Kristoffersen, Roar; Knudsen, Rune; Amundsen, Per-Arne; Scholz, Tomas
The emergence of cercariae from infected mollusks is considered one of the most important adaptive strategies for maintaining the trematode life cycle. Short transmission opportunities of cercariae are often compensated by periodic daily rhythms in the cercarial release. However, there are virtually no data on the cercarial emergence of bird schistosomes from freshwater ecosystems in northern latitudes. We investigated the daily cercarial emergence rhythms of the bird schistosome Trichobilharzia sp. “peregra” from the snail host Radix balthica in a subarctic lake under both natural and laboratory seasonal conditions. We demonstrated a circadian rhythm with the highest emergence during the morning hours, being seasonally independent of the photo- and thermo-period regimes of subarctic summer and autumn, as well as relatively high production of cercariae at low temperatures typical of northern environments. These patterns were consistent under both field and laboratory conditions. While light intensity triggered and prolonged cercarial emergence, the temperature had little effect on cercarial rhythms but regulated seasonal output rates. This suggests an adaptive strategy of bird schistosomes to compensate for the narrow transmission window. Our results fill a gap in our knowledge of the transmission dynamics and success of bird schistosomes under high latitude conditions that may serve as a basis for elucidating future potential risks and implementing control measures related to the spread of cercarial dermatitis due to global warming.
CitationSoldánová M, Born-Torrijos A, Kristoffersen R, Knudsen R, Amundsen P-A, Scholz T. Cercariae of a Bird Schistosome Follow a Similar Emergence Pattern under Different Subarctic Conditions: First Experimental Study. Pathogens. 2022;11(647)
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