Letter | Published:

A Natural Population of Anomalous Branched Tapeworms, Hymenolepis nana (Cestoda : Hymenolepididae), in a Colony of DBA/1 Mice

Naturevolume 191pages297298 (1961) | Download Citation

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Abstract

DURING work on metabolism of the dwarf tapeworm of mice (Hymenolepis nana), a natural infection with this parasite was found in a local colony of DBA/1 mice (Curd's Caviary, Downey, California). Of 500 mice from this colony examined over a two-year period, 320 were infected with an average of 35 worms per mouse, varying from a single 12-in. worm to one or two thousand extremely small ones (demonstrating a ‘crowding effect’). Among more than 12,000 worms recovered, approximately 5 per cent showed one of the following malformations or growth disturbances : (1) Partial twinning (Fig. 1A) : forked posterior strobila ; (2) lateral branching (Fig. 1B) : new tissue outgrowth with varying degrees of differentiation ; (3) dedifferentiation (Fig. 1D) : groups of segments appearing as undifferentiated, vacuolated granular regions ; (4) segment reversal : reversal of normal antero-posterior sequence of proglottides (Fig. 1B) ; (5) combination : dedifferentiation plus branch outgrowth (Fig. 1C ; branch formation with segment reversal (Fig. 1B) ; multiple branching (Fig. 1E).

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Author notes

  1. DONALD HEYNEMAN: On special leave of absence as Head, Department of Parasitology, United States Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3, c/o American Embassy, Cairo.

Affiliations

  1. Department of Zoology, University of California, Los Angeles, California

    • DONALD HEYNEMAN

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https://doi.org/10.1038/191297a0

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