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The parasitic nematodes Hysterothylacium sp. type MB larvae as bioindicators of lead and cadmium: a comparative study of parasite and host tissues

  • H. KHALEGHZADEH-AHANGAR (a1), M. MALEK (a1) and K. McKENZIE (a2)

Cadmium and lead concentrations were compared in tissues of cutlassfish, Trichiurus lepturus L., its intestinal nematode Hysterothylacium sp. type MB larvae, and in water from the same location in the Sea of Oman. Metal accumulation in hosts, parasites and sea water was measured by ICP-OES. Hysterothylacium larvae from the intestinal lumen and visceral cavity showed much higher metal concentrations than in host tissues or sea water. Statistical analyses revealed no significant differences in metal accumulation between infected and uninfected hosts. Cadmium concentration in the host muscle was lower than in intestine, liver and gonad tissues. The mean concentrations of lead and cadmium in nematodes were 289·03 and 81·5 times higher than in host intestine, 188·4 and 225 times higher than in host muscle, 108·6 and 65·3 times higher than in host gonads, 70·5 and 19·5 times higher than in host liver and 3351 and 148 times higher than in sea water. The results show the value of this and possibly related nematodes as bioindicators of heavy metals and their potential use in environmental studies.

Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: School of Biology, College of Science, University of Tehran, Enghelab Ave., Tehran, Iran. Tel: +98 21 6111 2702. Fax: +98 21 6640 5141. E-mail:
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