Studies on ascaridoid nematodes in pythons: The life-history and development of Ophidascaris moreliae in Australian pythons

Sprent J.F.A. (1970) Studies on ascaridoid nematodes in pythons: The life-history and development of Ophidascaris moreliae in Australian pythons. Parasitology, 60 1: 97-122. doi:10.1017/S0031182000077283


Author Sprent J.F.A.
Title Studies on ascaridoid nematodes in pythons: The life-history and development of Ophidascaris moreliae in Australian pythons
Journal name Parasitology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1469-8161
Publication date 1970
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1017/S0031182000077283
Volume 60
Issue 1
Start page 97
End page 122
Total pages 26
Subject 2405 Parasitology
2725 Infectious Diseases
1103 Clinical Sciences
2403 Immunology
Abstract Several species of Australian python, Morelia spilotes variegatus, Liasis amethystinus, L. fuscus and L. childreni, were experimentally infected with eggs of Ophidascaris moreliae and the development of the larvae described. The first moult occurred in the egg, which survived and remained infective for over 7 years in moist conditions. The first moult occurred in 12 days and the second-stage larva in the egg was infective to mice in 14-21 days. After ingestion the larvae migrated to liver and lungs and in 21 days were mainly distributed throughout the subcutaneous tissues, particularly in the neck region and behind the ears. Growth occurred to about 8 mm; the larvae attained their infectivity for pythons after 5 weeks and retained it for more than a year. The second moult was not observed but it was assumed that the third stage was infective for pythons. Development to about the same length occurred in guinea-pigs and indigenous and laboratory rats and in the bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus). In the possum (Trichosurus sp.) a more rapid growth occurred to about the same length. No growth occurred in tadpoles. After ingestion by pythons larvae migrated to the lungs, where they remained for 3 months or more, grew to a length of 45 mm and underwent the third moult. Larvae removed from the lungs and reingested by pythons returned to the lungs if they had been in the first python for less than 60 days. After this time, they remained in the stomach of the second python. During the third moult larvae underwent a marked constriction of the anterior end, moved up the trachea and became attached in the upper oesophagus as fourth-stage larvae. In mouseinfected M. spilotes the third moult occurred at 117 days at a length of 23-45 mm; fourth-stage larvae measured 34-50 mm. The fourth moult occurred in the stomach at 318 days at a length of 37-55 mm. The smallest adult specimens found were a 55 mm male and a 63 mm female. Development to the adult stage was only observed in M. spilotes variegatus. In other python species only pre-adult forms were recovered. It appeared that development may be retarded at the fourth moult during the winter. The morphology of the larvae during the five stages of development is described. It is concluded that the main growth phases are the third stage in the lungs of the python and the adult stage in the stomach of the python. Encapsulated forms were found only in the tissues of intermediate hosts. The larvae from mouse tissues emerged from the capsules during putrefaction and survived for several weeks in water.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Scopus Import
 
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Created: Tue, 12 Jul 2016, 03:57:56 EST by System User