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  • Author: A. Molnar x
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A. Königová, G. Hrčková, L. Molnár, P. Major and M. Várady


Cathaemasia hians is an obligate trematode parasite of Black storks that are on the List of protected birds in Europe. In the present study, adult trematodes were isolated from the Black stork post mortem and morphological study revealed C. hians species. In total, 10 worms were found in the oesophagus and the ventriculus of the bird. Histopathological examination of the tissue samples of oesophagus, proventriculus and ventriculus was performed on paraffin sections using a set of staining procedures. The sporadic lesions were seen in the tela submucosa of oesophagus containing connective tissue mast cells, eosinophils and heterophils and some foci were surrounded by the fibrous tissue. In addition, a few inflammatory nodules had larval-like material inside, probably being of the same species. There were no visible morphological alterations in the epithelial layer of lamina propria mucosae of proventriculus, rich in goblet cells as well as in the tela submucosa. Majority of trematodes were localized in the ventriculus, where the lamina propria mucosae was damaged or disrupted sporadically. In these sites, in the tela submucosa, a various food-originated inorganic/organic material and eggs of C. hians were deposited, stimulating a weak inflammatory response. Nodules containing larvae were not observed in any of ventriculus tissue layers. This study demonstrated, for the first time, infection with adults of C. hians trematode in the Black stork nesting in Slovakia. The presence of larvae and eggs in the tissues of the upper gastrointestinal tract of bird was associated with mild inflammatory response but feeding behaviour of adult worms in the ventriculus probably contributed to the enhanced susceptibility of the lamina propria mucosae to mechanical damage by inorganic material. Although larval stages have not yet been documented in the intermediate hosts in Slovakia, our report indicates that the life cycle of C. hians might occur in Central Europe.

Open access

A. Königová, L. Molnár, G. Hrčková and M. Várady


Serratospiculiasis is a parasitic disease caused by filariid nematodes of the genus Serratospiculum, the subfamily Dicheilonematinae. Serratospiculum spp. parasitizes the air sacs and members of this genus have been found in various species of Falcons, Bald Eagles and Cooper’s Hawk from all around the world. In the present study, infection with Serratospiculum was confirmed for the first time in the Great Tit in Slovakia. Nematode infestation was identified post mortem. Lesions in the respiratory system (airsacculitis, pneumonia) were associated with the presence of this nematode. Smears of the necrotic lesions in the crop and oesophagus contained the large numbers of embryonated eggs. Faecal samples were examined by flotation method and Serratospiculum eggs were found. Adult parasites were cleared in lactophenol solution and morphological analysis of male reproductive organs (shape of male nematode spicules) indicated the species Serratospiculum amaculata. Scattered inflammatory cells were seen in the mucosal and submucosal layers of infected oesophagus and inflammatory foci were found mainly in the stroma of the air sacs.

The presence of the filariid nematode in the nonspecific species Great Tit (Parus major) common in Slovakia indicates the importance of monitoring of serratospiculiasis in the avian hosts. The parasite can cause serious health problems, even sudden death of their hosts, therefore suitable effective measures for their elimination should be implemented.

Open access

A. Königová, G. Hrčková, S. Velebný, M. Dolinská, L. Molnár and M. Várady


The effect of albendazole therapy on the reduction of drugsusceptible and drug-resistant strains of Haemonchus contortus larvae on day 10 post infection (p.i.), distribution and the relative numbers of innate immunity cells — eosinophils/neutrophils and mast cells in the stomach wall of immunosupressed Mongolian gerbils on days 4/1, 7/4, 10/7 and 14/11 post infection/post therapy (p.i./p.t.) were investigated in the present study. The efficacy of albendazole was significantly lower on benzimidazole (BZ) resistant larvae (L3 and L4 stages) (58.92 %) than the efficacy on susceptible strain of larvae (94.15 %). H. contortus infection elicited strong inflammation in mucosal and submucosal layers of the stomach, where mucosal mast cells MMC) were in the highest numbers in the lamina propria mucosae on day 7/4 p.i./p.t. Reduction of larval numbers following treatment resulted in a gradual decrease of MMC and connective tissue mast cells (CTMC). The lower counts of CTMC in the submucosa were seen in gerbils infected with BZ-susceptible strain during the whole period post therapy. In case of infection with BZ-resistant strain, peroxidase containig cells (eosinophils) peaked on day 7/4 p.i./p.t., whereas infection with BZ-susceptible strain elicited massive accumulation of these cells on day 4/1 p.i./p.t., particularly in the submucosa. No marked differences in eosinophils localisation were observed between both groups after the therapy. Goblet cells were found only in the proximal parts of glandulae gastricae close to the mucosal surface and no differences in the distribution in the stomach wall of both groups of animals were observed. After therapy the higher larval counts in case of BZ-resistant strain were in the correlation with the lower decline of CTMC and eosinophils, but MMC numbers were not significantly different between both treated groups. Present data indicate that in early stage post infection, the distribution of individual innate immunity cells might be directly affected by the larvae, and that the genetic and consequently biological differences related to the resistance to benzimidazoles probably had the impact on the interactions of larvae with the different immune cells in their niche.