Electron microscopical studies of Strongyloides ratti infective larvae: loss of the surface coat during skin penetration

J Parasitol. 1987 Oct;73(5):1030-4.


Previous indications using radiolabelled larvae that Strongyloides ratti free-living infective larvae lose a surface coat during penetration of the skin were further investigated by transmission electron microscopy of the cuticle of S. ratti infective larvae in the free-living stage, after penetration of mouse skin, and after migration to the lungs. These studies demonstrated the presence of a faint electron-dense surface coat external to the epicuticle on free-living worms which was absent from larvae recovered from the skin and lungs. When free-living infective larvae were incubated in 10% CO2 at 37 C and then examined with phase-contrast microscopy, worms were observed in the process of losing this coat. These observations confirm the hypothesis that S. ratti infective larvae lose a surface coat during penetration of the skin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Skin / parasitology
  • Strongyloides / physiology
  • Strongyloides / ultrastructure*
  • Strongyloidiasis / parasitology*