Philophthalmus species, probably P. palpebrarum, in Israel: description of the eye fluke from experimental infection

D. Gold, Y. Lang, J. Lengy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Following a recent incident of human philophthalmosis in Israel, the intramolluscan larval trematode fauna in snails randomly collected from the suspected water source was checked. Of the snails examined, only Melanopsis praemorsa shed cercariae, including a Philophthalmus cercaria. To identify the philophthalmid species involved, chicks were experimentally infected with metacercariae of the trematode, subsequently yielding mature trematodes resembling those of P. palpebrarum. The majority of trematodes obtained, whether from one-worm infections or from multiple-worm infections resulting in a single trematode in one of the eyes, were relatively small and showed only immature eggs in their uteri. This finding suggests that the existing descriptions of two species of Philophthalmus purportedly harbouring eggs with non-oculate miracidia, namely P. palpebrarum and P. nyrocae, are actually based on immature specimens from one-worm infections that precluded cross-fertilisation. If this be true, then all species of the genus Philophthalmus produce eggs that, when mature, contain oculate miracidia. The species encountered in Israel is thus most likely P. palpebrarum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-377
Number of pages6
JournalParasitology Research
Volume79
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1993

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