Korean J Parasitol.  2003 Jun;41(2):107-111. 10.3347/kjp.2003.41.2.107.

Surface ultrastructure of the adult stage of Acanthotrema felis (Trematoda: Heterophyidae

  • 1Department of Parasitology and Institute of Health Sciences, Gyeongsang National University College of Medicine, Jinju 660-751, Korea.
  • 2Department of Parasitology, College of Medicine, Dankook University, Cheonan 330-714, Korea.
  • 3Department of Parasitology and Tropical Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine and Institute of Endemic Diseases, Seoul National University Medical Research Center, Seoul 110-799, Korea.


The surface ultrastructure of Acanthotrema felis (Trematoda: Heterophyidae) adults, recovered from a kitten experimentally infected with the metacercariae, was observed using a scanning electron microscope. The worm was leaf-like, ventrally concave and covered with scale-like multi-pointed tegumental spines. The spines on the anterior surface were short but broad, and had 10-12 pointed tips. The cytoplasmic processes protruded around the spines, like pockets for the spines. The ventrogenital opening was crescent, or kidney-shaped, and had protuberances with minute spines on its surrounding tegument. The spines on the posterior surface were long, but narrow, with 6-8 pointed tips. The cytoplasmic processes on this tegument were ridge-like, and elevated along the row of the spines. The surface ultrastructure of A. felis is generally similar to that of other heterophyid flukes, but some features are characteristic, and may be of taxonomic and bio-ecological significance.


Acanthotrema felis; heterophyid; cat; surface ultrastructure
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