Penetration of human skin by the cercariae of Schistosoma mansoni: an investigation of the effect of multiple cercarial applications

R.J. Ingram, A Bartlett, Marc Brown, C. Marriott, P.J. Whitfield

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    6 Citations (Scopus)
    54 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    It has previously been postulated that L-arginine emitted by penetrating Schistosoma mansoni cercariae serves as an intraspecific signal guiding other cercariae to the penetration site. It was suggested that penetrating in groups offers a selective advantage. If this hypothesis is correct and group penetration at one site on the host offers an advantage, it would follow that at such a site, successive groups of cercariae would be able to penetrate skin in either greater numbers or at a faster rate. This prediction was tested by the use of an in vitro model of cercarial penetration based on the Franz cell and using human skin. It was demonstrated that there was no increase in the percentage of cercariae able to penetrate the skin with subsequent exposures. Consequently, it seems unlikely that the release of L-arginine by cercariae during penetration could have evolved as a specific orientation system based on a selective advantage offered by group penetration.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)27-31
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Helminthology
    Volume77
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

    Keywords

    • CHEMICAL STIMULI
    • MIGRATION

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