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Ascocotyle (Phagicola) longa in fishes consumed by pinnipeds and humans at the South Atlantic Intertropical Convergence Zone

Grant number: 18/12113-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2018
Effective date (End): August 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Veterinary Medicine - Preventive Veterinary Medicine
Principal researcher:Estevam Guilherme Lux Hoppe
Grantee:Alice Pereira Americano
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Veterinárias (FCAV). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Jaboticabal. Jaboticabal , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The South American Fur Seal (Arctocephalus australis) is the most frequently encountered piniped along the coast of Rio Grande do Sul and some studies performed with this species revealed the presence of Ascocotyle (Phagicola) longa in it's intestinal tract. This helminth has zoonotic potential and its second intermediate host are mugilide fish, which present metacercariae encysted in their musculature, heart, liver, kidneys, stomach, spleen, gonads and mesentery. Definitive hosts are birds and mammals (including human beings) that become infected by eating raw or badly cooked infected fish. This study's objective is to evaluate the presence of Ascocotyle (Phagicola) longa in fish consumed by sea lions and humans in the south Atlantic intertropical convergence zone, to determine the indicators of infection by parasitic matacercariae in the species of fish studied, interaction between the indicators of infection of metacercariae and phenotypic characteristics of the host, to compare the prevalence of infection by A. (P.) longa in the different species of fish studied and to compare the count of metacercariae of the parasite between the affected organs. For this, a maximum of 20 specimens of each species of fish studied will be collected and the organs most affected will be liquefied and placed in Petri dishes to search for parasites with the aid of a stereomicroscope. After identifying and counting the parasites, a descriptive analysis of the data will be performed using the helminth infection indicators according to Bush et al. (1997). Also, the relationship between total metacercariae count of a given organ and its weight (n / g) will be calculated.

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