TitleA comparison of two methods for quantifying parasitic nematode fecundity.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsAustin, LV, Budischak, SA, Ramadhin, J, Hoberg, EP, Abrams, A, Jolles, AE, Ezenwa, VO
JournalParasitol Res
Date Published2017 May
KeywordsAnimals, Buffaloes, Feces, Female, Fertility, Nematoda, Nematode Infections, Ovum, Parasite Egg Count, South Africa

Accurate measures of nematode fecundity can provide important information for investigating parasite life history evolution, transmission potential, and effects on host health. Understanding differences among fecundity assessment protocols and standardizing methods, where possible, will enable comparisons across different studies and host and parasite species and systems. Using the trichostrongyle nematode Cooperia fuelleborni isolated from wild African buffalo (Syncerus caffer), we compared egg recovery and enumeration between two methods for measuring the fecundity of female worms. The first method, in utero egg count, involves visual enumeration of the eggs via microscopic inspection of the uterine system. The second method, ex utero egg count, involves dissolving the same specimens from above in a sodium chloride solution to release the eggs from the female's uterus, then enumeration under an inverted microscope. On average, the ex utero method resulted in 34% more eggs than the in utero method. However, results indicate that the two methods used to quantify parasitic nematode fecundity are highly correlated. Thus, while both methods are viable options for estimating relative nematode fecundity, we recommend caution in undertaking comparative studies that utilize egg count data collected using different methods.

Alternate JournalParasitol Res
PubMed ID28357577