Title: Variable infection of stream salamanders in the southern Appalachians by the trematode Metagonimoides oregonensis (family: Heterophyidae)
Author: Wyderko, Jennie A.; Benfield, Ernest F.; Maerz, John C.; Cecala, Kristen C.; Belden, Lisa K.;
Source: Parasitology Research
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Many factors contribute to parasites varying in host specificity and distribution among potential hosts. Metagonimoides oregonensis is a digenetic trematode that uses stream-dwelling plethodontid salamanders as second intermediate hosts in the Eastern US. We completed a field survey to identify which stream salamander species, at a regional level, are most likely to be important for transmission to raccoon definitive hosts. We surveyed six plethodontid species (N=289 salamanders) from 23 Appalachian headwater sites in North Carolina: Desmognathus quadramaculatus (n=69), Eurycea wilderae (n=160), Desmognathus ocoee (n=31), Desmognathus monticola (n=3), Eurycea guttolineata (n=7), and Gyrinophilus porphyriticus (n=19). We found infection in all species except D. monticola. Further analysis focused on comparing infection in the two most abundant species, D. quadramaculatus and E. wilderae. We found that D. quadramaculatus had significantly higher infection prevalence and intensity, probably due to a longer aquatic larval period and larger body sizes and thus greater cumulative exposure to the parasite.
Keywords: Desmognathus, Elima, Eurycea, Heterophyid, Plethodontidae
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Wyderko, Jennie A.; Benfield, Ernest F.; Maerz, John C.; Cecala, Kristen C.; Belden, Lisa K. 2015. Variable infection of stream salamanders in the southern Appalachians by the trematode Metagonimoides oregonensis (family: Heterophyidae). Parasitology Research, Vol. 114(8): 3159-3165. 7 p. 10.1007/s00436-015-4550-8
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