Faster the better: a reliable technique to sample anopluran lice in large hosts

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2014
Authors:M. Soledad Leonardi
Journal:Parasitology Research
Pagination:2015 - 2018
Date Published:June 2014
Keywords:Pinnipeds, sampling, technique

Among Anoplura, the family Echinophthiriidae in- cludes those species that infest mainly the pinnipeds. Working with large hosts implies methodological considerations as the time spent in the sampling, and the way in that the animal is restrained. Previous works on echinophthiriids combined a diverse array of analyses including field counts of lice and in vitro observations. To collect lice, the authors used forceps, and each louse was collected individually. This implied a long manipulation time, i.e., ≈60 min and the need to physically and/or chemically immobilize the animal. The present work described and discussed for the first a sample technique that minimized the manipulation time and also avoiding the use of anesthesia. This methodol- ogy implied combing the host’s pelage with a fine-tooth plastic comb, as used in the treatment of human pedic- ulosis, and keeping the comb with the lice retained in a Ziploc® bag with ethanol. This technique was used successfully in studies of population dynamic, habitat selection, and transmission pattern, being a reliable methodology. Lice are collected entirely and are in a good condition to prepare them for mounting for study- ing under light or scanning electron microscopy. More- over, the use of the plastic comb protects from damag- ing taxonomically important structures as spines being also recommended to reach taxonomic or morphological goals.

Short Title:Parasitol Res
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