Anthelmintic Drug Sensitivity in Male and Female Panagrellus redivivus Nematodes
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Caenorhabditis elegans is a well-studied model species of nematode worm that has been widely used for anthelmintic (anti-nematode) drug development as drug resistance has increased. The nematode Panagrellus redivivus presents itself as an alternative nematode to C. elegans that is easy to rear, making it useful for research in low-resource settings. In collaboration with the Gabon-Oregon Center, our laboratory aims to develop a P. redivivus screening system for natural products. Electropharyngeogram (EPG) recordings are similar to electrocardiograms of the human heart. In nematodes, EPG recordings show the electrical signals produced by rhythmic contractions of the pharynx. Pharyngeal contractions are used as a readout for electrical activity of neurons and muscles in nematodes. C. elegans is a hermaphroditic species, but P. redivivus is a gonochoristic species with males and females. My study tested the hypothesis that adult male and female P. redivivus have different sensitivity to anthelmintic drugs. I used EPG recordings to test this hypothesis, while applying ivermectin, an anthelmintic drug. Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO) was the ivermectin solvent, and was used as a control. EPG recordings from male and female P. redivivus were analyzed using IGOR Pro software. My results suggest that there is no sex difference in the sensitivity of P. redivivus to ivermectin, supporting the idea that mixed cultures containing both sexes can be used for drug screening experiments.