"LONG LIVE PARASITES!" (literally...)

A. Kimo Morris morrisk at bcc.orst.edu
Sun Mar 9 21:16:20 EST 1997


Fellow parasitologists,

I am in the process of completing my thesis and require some citations 
which show that parasites have the capacity to outlive their hosts, if 
they are surgically removed and placed into a new host.  So far, the 
only citation I've found concerns a Hymenolepis diminuta tapeworm 
which was kept alive for 14 years (13 successive transplants into new 
hosts).  The paper is by Read, CP, 1967, J. Parasitol 53:1055.  

I am most interested in finding other papers which demonstrate extreme 
parasite longevity.  I have heard of a case where a Shistosoma mansoni 
pair was taken from an autopsied man in America who had not been back 
to Africa in 30 years, suggesting the worms had resided within the man 
the entire time.  Anyone know of this paper?

The idea is that in nature, parasites rarely live longer than their 
longest lived hosts (simply do to the mechanical difficulties of an 
ADULT endoparasite to find its way into another host), but that they 
often are programmed with the capacity to out live their hosts.  Any 
ideas?  This is a mere portion of my thesis which stems from work done 
by Peter Calow (1983) who demonstrates how parasites combine 
characteristics that would normally be considered contra to the r- & 
K- paradigm.

Your ideas are greatly appreciated.

Cheers!

-- Kimo

--------------------------------------------------------------
A. Kimo Morris              |
Department of Entomology    | Office   - (541)737-2453
Oregon State University     | FAX      - (541)737-3643
Cordley Hall 2046           | Internet - morrisk at bcc.orst.edu
Corvallis,OR 97331-2907,USA | http://www.orst.edu/~morriaar
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"I hope that some animal never bores a hole in my head and lays
its eggs in my brain, because later you might think you're
having a good idea but it's just eggs hatching" -- Jack Handy



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