Publication details

A Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) is an important tool for the detailed study of morphological characters of Ascaris lumbricoides (Nematoda) parasitizing the orangutan (Pongo abelii) in Indonesia.

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Year of publication 2013
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) techniques are used for research of selected surface structures in several taxa of parasites. The SEM methodology was found to be necessary in the taxonomy of nematodes for studies of cephalic structures and further surface features, where the study by light microscopy produces insufficient results. Although we have relatively large amounts of information regarding parasites of orangutans, identification to the species level is still needed. During our parasitological monitoring of wild and semi-wild orangutans in North Sumatra at the site of a former rehabilitation station in Bohorok between 1999 – 2003 we collected five ascarid specimens from the fresh faeces of two semi-wild adult females. It is clear that two species had been found, according to literature concerning ascarids findings from orangutans: Ascaris lumbricoides (Linnaeus, 1758) and A. satyri Chatin, 1877. The first species is regarded as typically cosmopolitan parasite of humans and findings from great apes and non-human primates are very rare. The second species is regarded as a specialized parasite of Bornean orang-utans (P.pygmaeus) by the author of the original description. Our material from P. abelii is the first finding from the native territory of distribution. In the past all descriptions from the native territory of distribution were based on coprological analyses only. The identification of ascarids from Sumatran orangutans were established by using morphometrical and metrical study by the optical microscope, some details (anterior extremity) by SEM and based on comparison with a redescription of A. lumbricoides from man (Homo sapiens). Our conducted study includes a detailed redescription of ascarids from the Sumatran orangutan and corresponds with characteristics of morphospecies A. lumbricoides which we evaluated as a conspecific.
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