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Altered Feeding Response as a Cause for the Altered Heartbeat Rate and Locomotor Activity of Schistosoma mansoni-Infected Biomphalaria glabrata

Carol L. Williams and Donald E. Gilbertson
The Journal of Parasitology
Vol. 69, No. 4 (Aug., 1983), pp. 671-676
DOI: 10.2307/3281138
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3281138
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Altered Feeding Response as a Cause for the Altered Heartbeat Rate and Locomotor Activity of Schistosoma mansoni-Infected Biomphalaria glabrata
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Abstract

Biomphalaria glabrata infected with Schistosoma mansoni for 33 days fed more often than uninfected snails. Whereas uninfected snails had nocturnal increases in feeding, snails with a 33-day-old infection of S. mansoni fed as often during the day as in the night. Using direct observation and film analysis, we found that feeding increased the heartbeat rate and locomotor activity of B. glabrata. When snails were allowed to feed ad lib., infected snails had higher heartbeat rates than uninfected snails both during the day (P < 0.01) and the night (P < 0.001). However, when the snails were deprived of food for 24 hr, infected snails had slightly higher heartbeat rates than uninfected snails only during the day (P < 0.05). There was no difference between the heartbeat rates of feeding, infected snails and the heartbeat rates of uninfected snails that were starved for 8 hr, and then allowed to feed. Uninfected snails had nocturnal increases in heartbeat rate regardless of feeding schedule, but infected snails had greater nighttime heartbeat rate than daytime heartbeat rate only when they were not allowed to feed. Infected snails had less nocturnal locomotor activity than uninfected snails when feeding, but there was no difference between the locomotor activity of infected and uninfected snails when the snails were deprived of food for 24 hr. Absence of food also resulted in an increased nighttime to daytime ratio of locomotor activity of infected snails. These results suggest that the increased heartbeat rate and altered rhythms of heartbeat rate and locomotor activity in B. glabrata infected with S. mansoni for 33 days were caused by the altered feeding response of these snails.

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