In vitro and in vivo studies were conducted on the cercariae of Echinostoma caproni. Of the 15 media tried, 2 resulted in effective in vitro encystment in petri dish cultures maintained at 23 ± 1 C. They were a Locke's–artificial springwater (ASW) (1:1) medium (67% encystment) and a Biomphalaria glabrata embryonic cell line medium (23% encystment). To obtain large numbers of in vitro–formed cysts, finger bowl cultures containing 40 ml of the Locke's–ASW (1:1) medium were used at 23 ± 1 C. Of 3,000 cercariae tested, 1,890 (63%) were encysted in this medium by 48 hr. Most of these cysts looked similar to those formed in vivo, although some showed abnormalities in the outer cyst wall and other malformations. A total of 200 in vitro–formed cysts treated in an alkaline trypsin–bile salts (TB) medium for 2 hr at 41 C showed 94% excystation. In vitro–formed cysts fed to mice produced ovigerous adults within 2 wk postinfection (PI). Eggs from these worms gave rise to miracidia that produced patent intramolluscan infections in B. glabrata snails. In vivo encystment was studied in lab-raised juvenile Helisoma trivolvis (Colorado strain) snails, 1–3 mm in shell diameter. From 6 to 24 hr PI, 93–100% of the cercariae were recovered as metacercarial cysts in the snail tissue. Treatment of these cysts in the TB medium resulted in 96% excystation within 2 hr at 41 C.
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