Cadmium toxicity and snail-digenean interactions in a population of Lymnaea spp.J Helminthol. 2003 Mar; 77(1):49-55.JH
The toxicity of cadmium to a population of Lymnaea peregra and L. stagnalis naturally infected with a range of digeneans and collected from a number of sites in the lower Thames Valley, UK was investigated. Lymnaeid snails were exposed to 100 microg l-1 cadmium and the effects on host survival and emergence of cercariae recorded. Overwintered L. peregra, but not L. stagnalis, showed significantly reduced survival compared to seasonally infected snails, i.e. snails which have acquired an infection during the spring or summer. A significant increase in survival with increasing snail size was demonstrated for L. stagnalis and for seasonally infected L. peregra only. Only L. stagnalis infected with Diplostomum spathaceum and L. peregra infected individually with D. spathaceum, Sanguinicola inermis, Echinoparyphium recurvatum and Notocotylus attenuatus demonstrated a significantly reduced survival compared to laboratory-bred controls. The exposure of L. stagnalis to cadmium resulted in a significant reduction in the emergence of D. spathaceum over a 5-day period but cadmium-exposed L. peregra showed no difference in the emergence of E. recurvatum cercariae over a 3-day exposure period. The mechanisms and importance of metal toxicity to snail-digenean interactions are discussed.