parasite communities and water pollution

Gerald L. McLaughlin, Ph.D gmclaugh at
Mon Jun 8 09:11:54 EST 1998

Anecdotally (and I suspect supported by at least informal publications), the
decisive answer is that pollution is very bad for natural populations of
parasites, especially ones with complex multi-host life cycles like
trematodes and cestodes.  Increased sediment and run-off fertilizer and
pesticides has decreased the numbers and species diversity by reducing
habitats of suitable snail hosts, and other intermediate hosts.  Echinostome
parasites are still relatively abundant in the Midwest because they are
flexible as to suitable hosts, and their snail and vertebrete hosts (e.g.
raccoons) are still common.  Most other genera of trematodes of wildlife are
thought to be less common than in the '20's or even the '50's.  A woman who
works for a government agency in ?Wisconsin or Minnesota? (Rebecca Cole?),
told me last Spring at ASP, that she was trying to correlate helminth
diversity with ecosystem diversity and pollution, so she may have a
collection of related references.


 At 07:11 AM 6/6/98 +0000, Lilium wrote:
>Can you tell me more about the relation between parasite communities and
>water pollution?
>I know that some parasites need to estabalish a certain stage of their life
>cycle in the water but does pollution increase their population ? Or in
>some way, pollution are harmful to them as well as to other animals...
>paolog at wrote in article
><6kjpos$692 at>...
>>In particular, I'm studying 1) the relationship between parasite
>> communities and water pollution; 2) parasite communities and exotic fish
>> species.
>> Anyone with similar interests is welcome to correspond.
>> Paolo
Gerald L. McLaughlin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine
635 Barnhill Dr, MS A128
Indianapolis, IN  46202-5120
Ph 317-274-2651; FAX 317-278-0643/2018; Home 317-328-7811
E-Mail:  gmclaugh at

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