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Micro-CT imaging of onchocerca infection of simulium damnosum s.l. blackflies and comparison of the peritrophic membrane thickness of forest and savannah flies

Micro-CT imaging of onchocerca infection of simulium damnosum s.l. blackflies and comparison of the peritrophic membrane thickness of forest and savannah flies

Hall, M.J.R., Martin-Vega, D., Clark, B., Ghosh, D., Rogers, M., Pigoli, D., Veriegh, F.B.D., Tetteh-Kumah, A., Osei-Atweneboana, M.Y. and Cheke, R.A. ORCID: 0000-0002-7437-1934 (2021) Micro-CT imaging of onchocerca infection of simulium damnosum s.l. blackflies and comparison of the peritrophic membrane thickness of forest and savannah flies. Medical and Veterinary Entomology. ISSN 0269-283X (Print), 1365-2915 (Online) (In Press) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/mve.12509)

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Abstract

Onchocerciasis is a neglected tropical disease (NTD) caused by Onchocerca Diesing 1841 (Spirurida: Onchocercidae) nematodes transmitted by blackflies. It is associated with poverty and imposes a significant health, welfare and economic burden on many tropical countries. Current methods to visualize infections within the vectors rely on invasive methods. However, using micro-computed tomography techniques, without interference from physical tissue manipulation, we visualized in three dimensions for the first time an L1 larva of an Onchocerca species within the thoracic musculature of a blackfly, Simulium damnosum s.l. Theobald 1903 (Diptera:
Simuliidae), naturally infected in Ghana. The possibility that thicker peritrophic membranes in savannah flies could account for their lower parasite loads was not supported, but there were limits to our analysis. While there were no statistically significant differences between the mean thicknesses of the peritrophic membranes,
in the anterior, dorsal and ventral regions, of forest and savannah blackflies killed 34–48min after a blood-meal, the thickness of the peritrophicmembrane in the posterior region could not be measured. Micro-computed tomography has the potential to provide novel information on many other parasite/vector systems and impactful images for public engagement in health education.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: infection, micro-CT, Onchocerca, peritrophic membrane, simulium
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2021 11:44
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/31010

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