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Acta Parasitologica, Vol.45, No. 4, 2000, 362
Wedrychowicz Halina - Nematode Parasites of Vertebrates. Their Development and Transmission (Ed. R. C. Anderson), 2nd edition, CABI Publishing CAB International 2000, ISBN 0 85199 421 0, 650 pp.

(1)W. Stefanski Institute of Parasitology, Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warszawa, Poland;
Nematodes are among the most abundant organisms on the earth and occur in a range of habitats. Many of them (more than 5000 described species) are parasites of fish, amphibian, reptiles, birds and mammals. In the book on review more than 800 nematode species parasitising in vertebrates are mentioned while modes of life and means of transmission of 595 species are presented. The scope of the book reflects the Author's experience as co-editor of Keys to the Nematode Parasites of Verterbrates (a series of 10 volumes produced under the editorship of R. C. Anderson, A. C. Chabaud and S. Willmott 1975 1985, published by CAB). As in previous edition, the emphasis is always on the principles and diversity of nematode life cycles and developmental and general biology inside the host. The book is organised principally by the systematics of the Nematoda phylum. The volume is divided into 3 major sections: Introduction then Part I (Class Secernentea) divided into 6 chapters responding to nematode orders and Part II (Class Adenophorea) which includes 2 chapters. In introduction the Author gives a short descriptions of major phenomena concerning development, types of hosts, principles of transmission, modes of infecting the definitive hosts. Each order and superfamily is introduced with an overview of the habits of its members and in species-by species sections not only the known and accepted, but also the dissenting and historical data are reviewed. Each chapter includes at the end numerous, in most cases updated references. The illustrations throughout the text are very clear. However, luck of anatomical explanations make them quite difficult to understand for a reader not familiar with nematode anatomy (physicians, vets etc). In my opinion, the book would be much more "reader friendly" if the introduction included also the generalised anatomy of an adult female and male nematode. The Author made an effort to introduce some recent molecular developments in differentiation of some nematode species (for example within genera of Metastrongylus and Trichinella) but a lot of interesting molecular data is missing. During the last decade a very important data have been gathered from sequence analysis of parasitic nematode rDNA genes. Nuclear rDNA of eukaryotic organisms is a large multi-gene family consisting of tandemly arrayed sequence repeats. From systematic point of view it is important that rDNA sequences exhibit patterns of "non-independent evolution" of repetitive sequences, resulting in greater sequence similarity within a species than between the species. Consequently, rDNA provide useful genetic markers for the parasite nematode identification, studying parasite taxonomy and phylogeny. For instance, comparative analysis of rDNA sequences has allowed the detection of cryptic species within Hypodontus macropi complex (nematode parasite from Australian macropodid marsupial) or Cylicostephanus minutus complex (a small strongylid parasite of horses). Sadly the group of small strongyles, which includes more than 40 parasitic nematode species extremely prevalent in horses, is only mentioned in the introduction to the family Strongylidae and the references quoted are from the first half of the 20 century. Also, nematodes parasitising in European wild ruminants are rather poorly presented. The genus of Spiculopteragia is missing as well as specific for wild ruminants species from genera of Trichostrongylus, Nematodirus, Trichuris, and Onchocerca. As mentioned above, out of more than 5000 species of nematodes parasitising vertebrates only about 10% is described in the book and the criterion of selection of the 595 species is not entirely clear. The index is exhaustive in its listing of nematode species and usefully replete with technical terms, unfortunately lacking in references to hosts. In spite of above criticisms, anyone who requires a solid knowledge concerning of the basic features of the development and transmission of major parasitic nematodes of vertebrates placed in a historical context can be confidently recommended to read the book. The book will also be a suitable text for specialist courses in veterinary and biology colleges for students who have some training in invertebrate zoology or parasitology.
KEY WORDS: Nematode parasites of Vertebrates.
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