The ecology of helminth parasites of laboratory bred and wild mice

Mathers, Patricia (1983). The ecology of helminth parasites of laboratory bred and wild mice. PhD thesis The Open University.



A long term study of the monthly incidence and intensity of infection of Anodemus sylvaticus (L) with Syphacia stroma (von Linstow 1884, Nematoda: Oxyuridae) and Nematospiroides dubius (Baylis 1926, Nematoda: Heligmosomidae) has been made. A systems analysis approach to the host parasite relationship has characterised S. stroma and N. dubius in terms of an r- and K- strategy respectively.

The controls within the host parasite systems, of S. stroma: A. sylvaticus and N. dubius: A. sylvaticus have been considered with respect to the structure of the parasite populations, spatial distribution within the host and time lags inherent in the systems. Control by density independent environmental variables and the intrinsic density dependent mechanisms of competition, parasite pathogenicity and host immune response has also been considered. A period of stress and lowered immune response has been identified in the wild populations of A. sylvaticus.

Systems analysis of egg production of a primary infection of N. dubius in CD1 mice from day 10-55 has revealed a changed pattern of gastrointestinal motility and cyclicity in egg production and size.

A syndrome of low intensity of infection, reduced fecundity and non viability of eggs associated with a possible bacterial contaminant in the bedding material has been described for N. dubius in ASH/CSI S.P.F. mice. Manipulation of the host parasite system with oxytetracycline hydrochloride has emphasised the importance of microbial environment to N. dubius.

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