Phenoloxidases are known to play a role in the immune defences of arthropods and molluscs. In the invertebrates, phenoloxidases mediate three major physiologically important processes: sclerotization, wound healing, and defence reactions. Helix lucorum serve as the first intermediate host for the larval stages of dicrocoeliid trematodes which infects animals as well as human beings.

The aim of the study is to investigate the effect of larval forms of dicrocoeliid trematodes to phenoloxidase acitivity in H. lucorum, Linneaus, 1758, in Bitlis, Turkey. The effect of the snail’s shell colour to phenoloxidase activity was also investigated.

Material and methods:
Land snails (n=200) were collected by hand from their natural habitats during the period May – June 2019 in Bitlis, Turkey. Evaluation of the process was performed by measuring immune reaction of the snails against larval forms of dicrocoeliid trematodes. Phenoloxidase activity assay was carried out using a spectrophotometer device based on 3,4-Dihydroxy-L-phenylalanine (L-dopa) hydrolysis.

The natural infection rate of the land snails with the developmental stages of dicrocoeliid trematodes was 20%. Phenoloxidase activity was found to be significantly higher (*p<0.05) in larval forms of dicrocoeliid trematodes infected snails when compared with non-infected snails. No effect of shell colours to phenoloxidase activity was observed.

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first to report that the phenoloxidase system is involved in the immune reaction of Helix lucorum to parasitic infestation by larval forms of dicrocoeliid trematodes.

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