Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Lisa K. Belden; William E. Peterman; Stephen A. Smith; Lauren R. Brooks; E.F. Benfield; Wesley P. Black; Zhaomin Yang; Jeremy M. Wojdak
    Date: 2012
    Source: Journal of Parasitology. 98(4): 760-767
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Southern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (2.57 MB)


    Metagonimoides oregonensis (Heterophyidae) is a little-known digenetic trematode that uses raccoons and possibly mink as definitive hosts, and stream snails and amphibians as intermediate hosts. Some variation in the life cycle and adult morphology in western and eastern populations has been previously noted. In the southern Appalachians, Pleurocera snails and stream salamanders, e.g., Desmognathus spp., are used as intermediate hosts in the life cycle. We completed a series of studies in this system examining some aspects of larval trematode morphology and first and second intermediate host use. Molecular sequencing of the 28S rDNA of cercariae in our survey placed them clearly within the heterophyid family. However, light and scanning electron microscopy revealed both lateral and dorso-ventral finfolds on the cercariae in our region, whereas original descriptions of M. oregonensis cercariae from the west coast indicate only a dorso-ventral finfold, so further work on the systematics of this group may be warranted. A survey of first intermediate host, Pleurocera proxima, from 7 streams in the region identified only M. oregonensis, virgulate-type cercariae, and cotylomicrocercous-type cercariae in the streams, with M. oregonensis having the highest prevalence, and the only type present that use amphibians as second intermediate hosts. Based on clearing and staining of 6 Desmognathus quadramaculatus salamander larvae, we found that individual salamanders could have over 600 metacercariae, which form between muscle fibers throughout the body. Histological observations suggest that the metacercariae do not cause excessive tissue damage or inflammation, and likely persist through metamorphosis, thereby transmitting potentially large numbers of worms to definitive host raccoons foraging along streams.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Belden, Lisa K.; Peterman, William E.; Smith, Stephen A.; Brooks, Lauren R.; Benfield, E.F.; Black, Wesley P.; Yang, Zhaomin; Wojdak, Jeremy M. 2012. Metagonimoides oregonensis (Heterophyidae:Digenea) Infection in pleurocerid snails and Desmognathus quadramaculatus salamander larvae in southern Appalachian streams. American Society of Parasitologists. Journal of Parasitology. 98(4): 760-767.


    Google Scholar


    helminth-parasites, green frogs, megalodiscus-temperatus, procyon-lotor, united-states, life-cycle, tadpoles, host, platyhelminthes, transmission

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page