Zavier Eure, a junior from North Carolina A&T, worked with the lab of Dr. Michael Yabsley to study copepod survival in different types of water bowls.
Abstract: Guinea Worm Disease (GWD), caused by the nematode Dracunculus medinensis, has been detected with increasing incidence among dogs in Chad, Africa. Cyclopoid copepods (freshwater crustaceans) are intermediate hosts for D. medinensis. Currently the route(s) of D. medinensis transmission to dogs is still unknown but drinking from unprotected water sources would pose a risk. Dogs have access to water dishes provided for domestic animals and depending on the source of water, these dishes could harbor infected copepods, thereby acting as a source of transmission. To determine how long copepods survive in water dishes when exposed to Chadian ambient temperatures (41.1ᵒC), copepods were placed in three different container types (plastic, glass, and metal) and heated to 40ᵒC. Our results indicate that under simulated Chadian temperatures, metal dishes result in the highest rate of copepods death in the shortest period of time (2hrs) and were the only container to reach 100% copepod mortality. Conversely, plastic dishes exhibited the lowest mortality of copepods. These results indicate that the type of dish used when supplying water for animals in Chad is an important consideration in terms of preventing or interrupting transmission of D. medinensis among dogs.