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Volume 23, Number 9—September 2017

Possible Role of Fish as Transport Hosts for Dracunculus spp. Larvae

Christopher A. ClevelandComments to Author , Mark L. Eberhard, Alec T. Thompson, Stephen J. Smith, Hubert Zirimwabagabo, Robert Bringolf, and Michael J. Yabsley
Author affiliations: University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA (C.A. Cleveland, S.J. Smith, R. Bringolf, M.J. Yabsley); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia (M.L. Eberhard); University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, USA (A.T. Thompson); The Carter Center, Atlanta (H. Zirimwabagabo)

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Results of ferret exposure trials with 3 different fish species exposed to copepods infected with Dracunculus medinensis or D. insignis worms

Fish species Dracunculus sp. No. fish consumed/no. offered* Total no. copepods† Days until euthanasia of ferret‡ Dracunculus infection status 
of ferret No. worms recovered and sex§
Mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) D. insignis 28/30 300 91 and 134 0

D. medinensis
Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus)
D. insignis
91 and 134
Fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) D. insignis 30/30 300 91 and 118 + 1M

*In groups of 5 fish/day for 6 days.
>25% of copepods infected.
‡The D. insignis worm–exposed ferrets have 2 entries for days until euthanasia because these animals were exposed to fish at 2 different time points with copepods infected with larvae from 2 different worms.
§All worms were recovered from the subcutaneous tissues of the limbs.
¶Of these 6 female worms, 5 were gravid, indicating a male worm either was missed or had died before necropsy.

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Page created: August 17, 2017
Page updated: August 17, 2017
Page reviewed: August 17, 2017
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