Studies on the Reproductive Performance of Moniliformis moniliformis (Acanthocephala)

Parveen, Gulshan (1990) Studies on the Reproductive Performance of Moniliformis moniliformis (Acanthocephala). PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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1. Aspects of the reproductive performance of the archiacanthocephalan endoparasitic helminth Moniliformis moniliformis (Bremser, 1811) Travassos, 1915 have been investigated under experimental conditions using laboratory rats (Rattus norvegicus) as the definitive host. 2. Current knowledge of the reproductive biology of the Acanthocephala has been reviewed with special reference to the results published by other workers on M. moniliformis. In the context of this dissertation, reproductive performance is considered to be a convenient concept covering the environmental, behavioural and genetic factors that serve to enhance the reproductive fitness and success of individual worms. 3. An analysis of the course of M. moniliformis infections from mixed and single sex populations was undertaken. Female worms, on average, showed a greater rate of survival than male worms from mixed and single sex infections. Mated female worms were observed eventually to grow at a greater rate than unmated females of the same age. Rats harbouring primary infections with M. moniliformis did not show any evidence of acquired immunity when challenged with secondary infections. 4. In M. moniliformis insemination was observed to occur between male and female worms as young as 17-day-old, and an individual male worm was observed to be able to inseminate at least 22 female worms of the same age during the first 5 weeks of a primary infection. The results showed evidence that the copulatory caps on male worms are mounted by other male/s present in the population, which might result from sperm competition. 5. During the course of primary infections of M. moniliformis in rats, with an initial dose of 10 male and 10 female cystacanths, the fecundity of female worms appeared to be influenced by the male worm age. Female worms inseminated by younger male worms produced more eggs than the female worms inseminated by the male worms of same age. 6. In the experiments deliberately designed to expose male M. monilformis to the females of different ages and sizes, active mate choice by the males was considered to occur on the basis that male worms "choose" female mates having monitored the female age (where they switched mating with from older females to the younger ones), female size, in terms of body length, and female worm location in the small intestine. The results also indicated, for the first time as far is known, that male worms mature before the female worms of the same age. 7. The fecundity of female M. moniliformis appeared to be affected when cystacanths were exposed to various doses of X-irradiation prior to infection of rats. There are possibilities that either oogenesis in female worms had been affected by X-irradiation or the male worms might have been recognizing female worms fertility. Further research is, however, needed in this field. 8. Interactions between Moniliformis moniliformis, Trichinella spiralis, and Nippostrongylus brasiliensis in rats were investigated. The concurrent nematode infections appeared to affect the positions of attachment, growth and mating success of M. moniliformis. An earlier loss of T. spiralis and N. brasiliensis from the hosts was observed in concurrent infections with M. moniliformis. 9. Different anthelmintic drugs were used in trials against M. moniliformis infections in rats. Of the anthelmintics used levamisole was found to be the most effective against primary and challenged infections. The anthelmintic drug was found to have no long term effect on the parasite. Also, no effect on the fecundity of M. moniliformis of the anthelmintic drug was observed. These results demonstrate that there are many factors that affect the mating behaviour of M. moniliformis in its natural host.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Zoology, Parasitology
Date of Award: 1990
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1990-78104
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2020 12:09
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2020 12:09

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