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Acta Parasitologica, Vol.47, No. 4, 2002, 288-293
Galan-Puchades Maria Teresa (1)*, Fuentes Marius V. (1), Conn David Bruce (2) - A new type of endogenous asexual proliferation in cyclophyllidean metacestodes.

(1) Departamento de Parasitologia, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Valencia, Av. Vicent Andres Estelles s/n, 46100 Burjassot-Valencia, Spain; (2) School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, Berry College, Mount Berry, Georgia 30149-5036, USA
*Corresponding author:; Fax: 34 963864769

We describe 4 metacestodes classified according to their morphology as belonging to the genus Mesocestoides (Cestoda, Cyclophyllidea) in the abdominal cavity of an individual wood mouse, Apodemus sylvaticus (Rodentia, Muridae) trapped in a Spanish Mediterranean ecosystem. The morphological study of the metacestodes shows evidence of three types of asexual proliferation: longitudinal fission (presence of supernumerary suckers in the scolex); budding; and a third form of asexual division not previously described in cestodes, with a mother tetrathyridium containing some daughter metacestodes (endopolygeny). For the first time we have demonstrated different mechanisms of asexual division in a tetrathyridium-type metacestode, apparently of the genus Mesocestoides. Furthermore, this is the first report of endogenous asexual proliferation in any metacestode exhibiting primitive or gymnosomic development.

KEY WORDS: Mesocestoides, Cyclophyllidea, Cestoda, asexual division, proliferative metacestodes, Apodemus sylvaticus, Rodentia
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