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|All Authors / Contributors:||Rhodes B Holliman; J Elwood Fisher; James C Parker|
|Notes:||Figures 1-5. Spirorchis parvus. 1. Adult, ventral view. 2. Eyespot of miracidium, ventral view. 3. Cercaria, ventral view. 4. Cercaria, resting posture. 5. Cercaria, swimming movements.
Figure 6. Spirorchis parvus. Vasothigmatic movement of adult in arteriole by formation of body bulbs and subsequent peristaltic wave migration.
Spirorchis parvus (Stunkard, 1923) has been found in the turtle, Chrysemys picta picta (Schneider), from Sinking Creek, Giles County, Virginia. The cercarial stage was recovered from Helisoma anceps Menke from the same area. The life cycle of this worm as elucidated by Wall, 1941, was established in the laboratory to study the pathological effects on the definitive host. Exposure of parasite-free turtles to this cercaria in the laboratory produced mature worms in 91 days. The worms were found in the brain, spinal cord, gut, spleen, lungs, and heart. They were found inside arterioles, also free in tissues, but not in veins. Severe neurological signs were noted in 3 experimental turtles. Focal destruction of brain tissues caused contralateral hemiplegia in one host accompanied by loss of reflex activity. The adult worm is the least organ-specific of any spirorchid studied to date. Eggs were recovered from teased or macerated tissues and miracidia hatched in 4 to 7 days. Sporocyst development and cercarial maturation required 29 days.