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Life History of the ‘Serendipity worm’ ( Nematoda : Protostrongylidae ): an undescribed parasite of ungulates in the Arctic and Subarctic. Guilherme Gomes Verocai Supervisor: Susan Kutz. Parasites can act as drivers of ecological changes in host populations

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Guilherme gomes verocai supervisor susan kutz

Life History of the ‘Serendipity worm’ (Nematoda: Protostrongylidae): an undescribed parasite of ungulates in the Arctic and Subarctic

Guilherme Gomes Verocai

Supervisor: Susan Kutz


Introduction

Parasites can act as drivers of ecological changes in host populations

Lack of knowledge on Arctic parasite diversity limits understanding

Studies on parasites, their distribution, and impacts on host populations

Economical and cultural importance

Introduction

Photo: Susan Kutz


Introduction1
Introduction populations

  • An unknown Protostrongylidae species was discovered in ungulates across the Arctic(Kutz et al., 2007)

Occurrence of Serendipity worm in North America (extracted from Kutz el al., 2007)


Introduction2
Introduction populations

  • Larvae isolated from feces and molecularly characterized based on the ITS-2 sequence (2000-2006)

  • Distinct from other species within the Family Protostrongylidae

  • No taxonomical description was provided

  • Deroceras laeve (Müller, 1774): naturally infected intermediate host (IH)


Introduction3
Introduction populations

DH: site of parasitism?

?

PPP=? days

L3 emerges?

L1 shed in feces

Development from L1 to L3 = ?days

?

IH

Proposed life-cycle of the Serendipity worm.

L1: First-stage larva, L3: Third-stage larva, IH: Intermediate Host, DH: Definitive Host, PPP: Pre-patent Period.


Objectives
Objectives populations

  • 1. Provide a taxonomic description

  • 2. Establish life cycle experimentally

  • 3. Determine definitive host and geographic ranges

Photo: Pat Curry


Methods
Methods populations

  • 1. Taxonomic description:

  • Muskoxen from Nunavik, QU

  • 1 post mortem + lungs of 2 hunted animals

  • Lung dissection

  • Several washes passing through 75μm sieve

  • Analyzed material at dissecting microscope


Methods1
Methods populations

  • Lung tissue for histopathology (10% buffer formalin)

  • Molecular confirmation of species identity (ITS-2)

  • Taxonomic description:

    • Clear nematodes with Lactophenol

    • Sp. description: measurements, drawings

    • Comparison with related spp.: Museum types

    • Phylogeny within Protostrongylidae based on morphology

    • Larval stages: L1 from feces/L2-3 from gastropods


Preliminary results
Preliminary Results populations

  • Collected material: nematodes in lungs

* Body fragments containing taxonomic relevant features (i.e. cephalic and caudal ends)

Male caudal end

Cephalic end

Female caudal end

Embryonated egg


Methods2
Methods populations

  • 2. Establish life cycle experimentally :

  • Muskoxen fecal samples

  • Isolate L1 (Baermann technique)

  • Infect laboratory gastropods

  • Recover L3 by digestion


Methods3
Methods populations

  • 2. Establish life cycle experimentally :

  • Infect captive muskox (1) and reindeer (4-6)

  • Evaluate life cycle parameters (PPP, patent period, seasonality)

  • Infected animals will serve as larval source

  • Describe pathology in experimentally infected reindeer


Preliminary results1
Preliminary Results populations

  • Larvae successfully developed in experimentally infected gastropods:

    • D. reticulatum: L3 in 52 days

    • Lymnaeastagnalis: L2 in few weeks

  • Larval emergence occurs

  • Muskox experimentally exposed to L3

  • Fecal monitoring


Methods4
Methods populations

  • 3. Determine definitive host species and geographic ranges:

  • Fecal samples from northern ungulates (herds/populations)

  • Larval isolation by Baermann technique

  • Material from caribou herds and muskoxen frozen at -20C

  • Molecular identification based on ITS-2 sequence

  • Studies on Phylogeography (based on cox I of mDNA)


Preliminary results2
Preliminary results populations


Preliminary results3
Preliminary results populations

Caribou herds infected by Serendipity worm

Source: WWF/CARMA Network


Preliminary results4
Preliminary Results populations

  • Caribou:

    • New records of infected herds in Canada mainland

    • Overlaps Parelaphostrongylusandersoni

    • Co-infections can occur

  • Prevalence in Muskoxen from Quebec

    • 86.7 – 100% (several collections 2008-10)

  • Greenland muskoxen & caribou: 0%

  • Elk from the Yukon: 0% (n=60)


Summary
Summary populations

?

?

?

?

?

?

DH: SITE OF PARASITISM

PPP

L1 shed in feces

L3 emerges

Development from L1 to L3

IH


Summary1
Summary populations

?

?

?

?

?

DH: SITE OF PARASITISM

PPP

LUNGS

L1 shed in feces

L3 emerges

Development from L1 to L3

IH


Summary2
Summary populations

?

?

?

?

DH: SITE OF PARASITISM

PPP

LUNGS

52 days

L1 shed in feces

L3 emerges

Development from L1 to L3

IH


Summary3
Summary populations

?

?

?

DH: SITE OF PARASITISM

PPP

LUNGS

52 days

L1 shed in feces

L3 emerges

Development from L1 to L3

IH


Summary4
Summary populations

?

?

DH: SITE OF PARASITISM

PPP

LUNGS

52 days

L1 shed in feces

L3 emerges

Development from L1 to L3

IH


Acknowledgements

Kutz Lab: populationsDean Brown, Danna Schock, Nathan deBruyn, Pat Curry, Bryanne Hoar, Ryan Brook, Jesse Invik, Lynn Klassen

Committee: Susan Kutz, John Gilleard, Alessandro Massolo, Eric Hoberg

Gilleard Lab: Alexander Eberhardt

Lukowiak Lab: Sarah Dalesman

Czub & Leguillette Labs

Greg Muench, Nigel Caulkett, Marianne Jorgensen

Makivik Corp: ManonSimard, Bill Doidge, François Martin

Biologists and Veterinarians with Governments of NU, NT, YK, Alaska, and Greenland

Northern communities/hunters

Department of Ecosystem and Public Health

Acknowledgements


Thanks! populations


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