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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
  • 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
  • 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

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
  • 1. Provide a taxonomic description
  • 2. Establish life cycle experimentally
  • 3. Determine definitive host and geographic ranges

Photo: Pat Curry

methods
Methods
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 2. Establish life cycle experimentally :
  • Muskoxen fecal samples
  • Isolate L1 (Baermann technique)
  • Infect laboratory gastropods
  • Recover L3 by digestion
methods3
Methods
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 results3
Preliminary results

Caribou herds infected by Serendipity worm

Source: WWF/CARMA Network

preliminary results4
Preliminary Results
  • 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

?

?

?

?

?

?

DH: SITE OF PARASITISM

PPP

L1 shed in feces

L3 emerges

Development from L1 to L3

IH

summary1
Summary

?

?

?

?

?

DH: SITE OF PARASITISM

PPP

LUNGS

L1 shed in feces

L3 emerges

Development from L1 to L3

IH

summary2
Summary

?

?

?

?

DH: SITE OF PARASITISM

PPP

LUNGS

52 days

L1 shed in feces

L3 emerges

Development from L1 to L3

IH

summary3
Summary

?

?

?

DH: SITE OF PARASITISM

PPP

LUNGS

52 days

L1 shed in feces

L3 emerges

Development from L1 to L3

IH

summary4
Summary

?

?

DH: SITE OF PARASITISM

PPP

LUNGS

52 days

L1 shed in feces

L3 emerges

Development from L1 to L3

IH

acknowledgements
Kutz Lab: Dean 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
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