A Proposed Methodology for the Cardiac Analysis of Parasitically Infected Cuban Treefrogs

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Florida Southern College
Cuban treefrogs are a successful invasive species within the state of Florida, which have harmed Florida’s native ecosystem (Johnson, 2017). The parasite Apharyngostrigea pipientis has been found using the Cuban treefrog tadpole as a secondary intermediate host during development. During this process, the parasite encysts around the heart and mesenteries. It is unknown how these parasites impact the survivability of the tadpoles and whether their presence impedes cardiac function. This paper proposes a methodology to examine both heart function, and myocardial thickness as a result of the presence of A. pipientis. Due to the spring semester not having enough rain to support tadpoles, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, only parts of the protocol were able to be done. Pulse oximetry on tadpoles found that Cuban Treefrog tadpoles between Gosner stages 26 and 39 had an average oxygen saturation of 97.2%. Parameters for the successful use of pulse oximetry on tadpoles was generated, alongside a protocol for histological analysis of tadpole myocardium and endocardium.
Honors Thesis Spring 2020
Cuban treefrog, Heart -- Abnormalities, Parasites, Cuban treefrog -- Parasites, Parasitic diseases