In a previous study, when the snail Biomphalaria glabrata was infected with Schistosoma mansoni and maintained on a diet of hen's egg yolk, it produced fully developed cercariae in about one-half the time taken by snails fed Romaine lettuce. Increased lipids were also noted in the snails fed the yolk diet. The purpose of the present study was to further investigate nutritional effects of a high-lipid diet on larval schistosome development and to reexamine the time to cercarial patency in infected snails maintained on either the yolk or lettuce diet and to use high-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC) to analyze the neutral lipids in the digestive gland–gonad complex (DGG) of snails maintained on both diets. Infected snails maintained at 26 C and fed either diet produced fully developed cercariae by 4 wk postinfection (PI). Likewise, infected snails maintained at 23 C and fed either diet produced fully developed cercariae by 6 wk PI. The contention that the yolk diet enhanced the time to cercarial patency was not confirmed. The HPTLC analysis of neutral lipids showed that the DGG of infected snails fed the yolk diet contained significantly greater amounts of free sterols and cholesteryl esters but not triacylglycerols than that of the infected snails fed the lettuce diet.
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