Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 June 2009
Histochemical tests were done on newly excysted metacercariae and worms recovered from an abnormal host (rat) and the definitive host (dog) for some oxidoreductases, phosphatases and glycosidases. The results demonstrate that rat worms have enzymatic distribution and intensities more similar to those of metacercariae than to adult worms from dogs. Ultracytochemical examination of acid and alkaline phosphatase and Mg-ATPase activity was also carried out. Acid phosphatase activity occurred exceptionally in the excretory bladder and caeca of dog worms. No activity was observed in rat worms except for lysosomal granules in the tegument. Alkaline phosphatase activity was exhibited in the excretory bladder in both dog and rat worms. Mg-ATPase activity occurred in the tegument and parenchymal cells in dog worms and in the excretory bladder in rat worms. In metacercariae, little or no reaction for these enzymes was present except for Mg-ATPase activity on the excretory ducts. These observations, together with the histochemical results, indicate that metabolic activity in rat worms is higher than in metacercariae although it is strongly reduced compared with dog worms.