Accumulation and distribution of lead in the acanthocephalan Moniliformis moniliformis from experimental infected rats.
It recently became clear that adult eo- and palaeacanthocephalans parasitizing ®sh can bioconcentrate several heavy metals to signi®cantly higher concentrations than the tissues of their de®nitive hosts. Following this discovery the lead accumulation of the archiacanthocephalan Moniliformis moniliformis was investigated using experimentally infected male Wistar rats of the CD-M-strain. The worms were allowed to grow up for 4 weeks post-infection followed by a 3 weeks oral lead exposure of the rats. After the exposure period the rats were killed and the metal levels were determined in muscle, liver, intestine and kidney of the rats as well as in different organs of female and male acanthocephalans. Lead concentrations were found to be highest in female M. moniliformis followed by the kidneys of the rats. Male worms contained approximately the same lead concentration as the hosts' kidneys. Lead analysis of the worms' organs revealed the highest lead concentration in the eggs of female acanthocephalans, followed by the cement gland of male Worms. Whilst the lead burden of the presoma was higher than that detected in the kidneys of the rats, the lead content of the metasoma was even lower than in the kidneys. A lead uptake of M. moniliformis from the intestinal lumen of the host became apparent as the faeces of infected rats contained signi®cantly less lead compared to the uninfected conspeci®cs. Thus, this study reveals that lead accumulation also occurs in archiacanthocephalans parasitizing mammals. But the degree of metal bioconcentration is considerably lower compared to eo- and palaeacanthocephalans in ®sh. Anyway, due to a lack of adequate sentinel species in terrestrial biotopes the host±parasite system rat± M. moniliformis appears to be a useful and promising bioindication system especially in urban ecosystems in temperate regions.
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