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    Jannasch, M. Groeber, F. Brattig, N.W. Unger, C. Walles, H. and Hansmann, J. 2015. Development and application of three-dimensional skin equivalents for the investigation of percutaneous worm invasion. Experimental Parasitology, Vol. 150, p. 22.


Delayed tail loss during the invasion of mouse skin by cercariae of Schistosoma japonicum

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  • Published online: 24 October 2011

A traditional assumption is that schistosome cercariae lose their tails at the onset of penetration. It has, however, recently been demonstrated that, for Schistosoma mansoni, cercarial tails were not invariably being shed as penetration took place and a high proportion of tails entered human skin under experimental conditions. This phenomenon was termed delayed tail loss (DTL). In this paper, we report that DTL also happens with S. japonicum cercariae during penetration of mouse skin. It occurred at all cercarial densities tested, from as few as 10 cercariae/2·25 cm2 of mouse skin up to 200 cercariae. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that there was a density-dependent increase in DTL as cercarial densities increased. No such density-dependent enhancement was shown for percentage attachment over the same cercarial density range.

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*Corresponding author: Department of Parasitology, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 13 Hangkong Road, Wuhan 430030, China. Tel: +86 27 83657670. E-mail:
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A. Bartlett , M. Brown , C. Marriott and P. J. Whitfield (2000). The infection of human skin by schistosome cercariae: studies using Franz cells. Parasitology 121, 4954.

R. M. Gordon and R. B. Griffiths (1951). Observations on the means by which the cercariae of Schistosoma mansoni penetrate mammalian skin, together with an account of certain morphological changes observed in the newly penetrated larvae. Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology 45, 227243.

W. Haas , and S. Haeberlein (2009). Penetration of cercariae into the living human skin: Schistosoma mansoni vs. Trichobilharzia szidati. Parasitology Research 105, 10611066.

Y. X. He (2005). Bernard Salafsky and Kalyanasundaram Ramaswamy. Comparison of skin invasion among three major species of Schistosoma. Trends in Parasitology 21, 201203.

A. Ruppel , Chlichlia Katerina and Bahgat Mahmoud . (2004). Invasion by schistosome cercariae: neglected aspects in Schistosoma japonicum. Trends in Parasitology 20, 397400.

O. D. Standen (1953). The penetration of the cercariae of Schistosoma mansoni into the skin and lymphatics of the mouse. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 47, 42924294.

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  • ISSN: 0031-1820
  • EISSN: 1469-8161
  • URL: /core/journals/parasitology
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