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Journal of Parasitology Research
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 382153, 5 pages
Research Article

Optimization of Conditions for In Vitro Culture of the Microphallid Digenean Gynaecotyla adunca

Department of Biology, Georgia Southern University, P.O. Box 8042-1, Statesboro, GA 30458, USA

Received 31 January 2014; Accepted 28 February 2014; Published 25 March 2014

Academic Editor: D. S. Lindsay

Copyright © 2014 Jenna West et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In vitro cultivation of digeneans would aid the development of effective treatments and studies of the biology of the parasites. The goal of this study was to optimize culture conditions for the trematode, Gynaecotyla adunca. Metacercariae of the parasite from fiddler crabs, Uca pugnax, excysted in trypsin, were incubated overnight to permit fertilization, and were cultured in different conditions to find those that resulted in maximum worm longevity and egg production. When cultured in media lacking serum, worms lived longer in Hanks balanced salt solution and Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle medium/F-12 (DME/F-12) than in RPMI-1640 but produced the most eggs in DME/F-12. Worm longevity and egg production increased when worms were grown in DME/F-12 supplemented with 20% chicken, horse, or newborn calf serum but the greatest number of eggs was deposited in cultures containing horse or chicken serum. Horse serum was chosen over chicken serum due to the formation of a precipitate in chicken serum. The optimal concentration of horse serum with respect to egg production ranged from 5 to 20%. Infectivity of eggs deposited by worms in culture was tested by feeding eggs to mud snails, Ilyanassa obsoleta. None of these snails produced G. adunca cercariae.