African Zoology

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Innovative fluorescence detection technique for metals in cestode egg-shells

N. Degger, A. Avenant-Oldewage, R. Greenfield


Recent work in the field of parasitology has drawn attention to the application of  parasites as pollution-accumulation indicators, particularly cestodes. A  discrepancy in metal concentrations within cestode posterior and anterior tissue has led researchers to attribute this phenomenon to metals binding to the shells of their eggs. Thus, the objective of this study was to demonstrate metal presence through the implementation of fluorochromy. Tissue forms of a known metal accumulator, Bothriocephalus  acheilognathi, were exposed to a Phen Green FL fluorescent probe specific for metal ions and examined with a fluorescence microscope. The results have shown that metal ions bind to the egg-shells of B. acheilognathi and that fluorescence microscopy can be employed successfully to demonstrate metal accumulation in tapeworms.

Key words: Bothriocephalus acheilognathi, fluorochromy, metal accumulation, immunofluorescence, Phen Green FL.
AJOL African Journals Online