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Morphology and Significance of Some Helminth Parasites of the Wall Gecko

Author(s): I.G. Ameh | J.A. Ajayi

Journal: Journal of Biological Sciences
ISSN 1727-3048

Volume: 5;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 141;
Date: 2005;
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Keywords: Gecko | helminthes

The legated intestine of some sacrificed experimental wall geckos were systematically examined for gut parasites. 42(60%) of the animals examined (n = 70) were infected with helminthes identified as cestodes of the family proteocephalidae, which infected 29(41.4%) of the geckos and nematodes of the family pharyngodonidae, which infected 21(30.0%) of the geckos, respectively. The polyzoic cestode organism had typical features of the platyhelminth parasites, which commonly infect man and domestic animals. The nematodes however, had prominent tails and respectively, species seen were morphologically indistinguishable from Thelandros bulbosus, T. mule and a Stongyluris species, except for dissimilar genital apparatus and reduced caudal alae. Some speculations were made to suggest the phylogenic link of gecko parasites with related human parasites in their developmental history. It was concluded that these gecko parasites were of potential zoonotic risk to man and domestic animals, because of their morphological similarity to the human parasites and for the sharing of common domestic abode by man and the gecko.
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