Effect of Agrochemical Exposure on Schistosoma Mansoni Cercariae Survival and Activity

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Ecotoxicology, Parasite, Organophosphate, Pyrethroid, Trematode

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Singular use of activity assays or staining dyes to assess pathogen agrochemical tolerance can underestimate tolerance if pesticides cause sublethal effects. We exposed Schistosoma mansoni cercariae, the aquatic life stage of this trematode that infects humans, to 4 insecticides at 5 concentrations using a 24-h time-to-death assay. We used Trypan blue dye, which stains dead tissue, and activity assays simultaneously to discriminate dead from live but paralyzed individuals. Whereas cypermethrin, deltamethrin, and dimethoate exposure did not affect cercariae at any ecologically relevant concentrations, methamidophos exposure increased survival of cercariae compared with those in the controls. This was because methamidophos-induced paralysis reduced cercarial activity and thus energy expenditures, extending the lifespan of this short-lived parasite that causes human schistosomiasis. These findings highlight that sublethal effects should be considered when pesticide effects on disease are under investigation. Environ Toxicol Chem 2020;39:1421–1428. © 2020 SETAC

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Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, v. 39, issue 7, p. 1421-1428