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Is there a better fixative than Gilson's for trematodes?

James Mahaffy mahaffy at dordt.edu
Mon Sep 20 17:43:31 EST 1999


I am not a parasitologist but I have an interest in the area as the
person who teaches Zoology at Dordt College.   One of our biology
students is doing an individual study on parasites in fish several local
ponds.  From a project of another student a couple years ago, we
anticipate finding fluke metacercaria in the fish tissue (in the earlier
project there was a lot of Diplostomum baeri ecualiae).  I would like
the student to preserve the flukes he finds and my older biological
source book suggests that flukes should be killed and fixed in Gilson's
fluid and then preserved in formalin or 70% ethanol.  In looking at its
formula, I noticed that Gilson's has mercuric chloride.   That raised a
little flag since some forms of mercury are a bit nasty.   Is there a
better fixative?   If not, how nasty is this fixative?  

Thanks.  You can respond to me or directly to Ryan VanderTop at
rynvndrt at nospam.dordt.edu  Remove the nospam from his e-mail. 
James Mahaffy (mahaffy at dordt.edu)      Phone: 712 722-6279
Biology Department                     FAX :  712 722-1198
Dordt College, Sioux Center IA 51250

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