Karl Skirnisson

Karl Skirnisson
University of Iceland | HI · Institute for Experimental Pathology

Dr. rer. nat.

About

203
Publications
39,890
Reads
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2,244
Citations
Additional affiliations
October 1987 - present
University of Iceland
Position
  • Parasitologist., zoologist
September 1981 - March 1986
Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Position
  • Doktorant
Description
  • Martes foina studies

Publications

Publications (203)
Article
A new species, Stibarokris nielseni sp. nov. (Acariformes: Syringophilidae) parasitizing Puffinus puffinus (Procellariiformes: Procellariidae) in Iceland, with notes on host associations of the genus Stibarokris Abstract A new syringophilid mite species, Stibarokris nielseni sp. nov., from Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus is described. This findin...
Article
Full-text available
During 2004-2020 in total 18 anisakid larvae (Nematoda) were sent in to the Laboratory of Parasitology at Keldur for investigation and species identification. Fourteen had temporarily lived within the human body and were alive when detected, three were noticed alive in food just before being consumed, one larva was found dead. Pseudoterranova decip...
Article
Full-text available
During 2004-2020 in total 18 anisakid larvae (Nematoda) were sent in to the Laboratory of Parasitology at Keldur for investigation and species identification. Fourteen had temporarily lived within the human body and were alive when detected, three were noticed alive in food just before being consumed, one larva was found dead. Pseudoterranova decip...
Article
Full-text available
Með auknum fjölda humlutegunda hérlendis hefur athygli almennings í æ meira mæli beinst að mítlum sem eru oft áberandi á humludrottningum að vori og hausti þegar þær koma úr vetrardvala eða eru á leið í dvala. Spurningar kvikna oft í framhaldinu um hvaða dýr hér séu á ferðinni og hvort þau hafi skaðleg áhrif á fluguna. Þessar spurningar voru kveikj...
Article
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In the past few decades, the relevance of Dirofilaria immitis and Dirofilaria repens, causing cardiopulmonary and subcutaneous dirofilariosis in dogs and cats, and of Angiostrongylus vasorum, causing canine angiostrongylosis, has steadily increased in Central and Northern Europe. In this review, a summary of published articles and additional report...
Article
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Testing hypotheses in ecological and evolutionary parasitology can require testing whether host traits or coinfecting parasites explain variation in parasitism by focal species. However, when host traits and coinfecting parasites are considered separately, relations between either and parasitism by focal species can be spurious—a problem that is ad...
Article
Parasites are important components of ecosystems, thus identifying patterns of their diversity is crucial for studies investigating ecosystem functioning, food web structure, trophic interactions and epidemiological parameters. Via an integrative taxonomic approach, we studied the diversity and distribution of trematodes of the genus Plagiorchis Lü...
Poster
Full-text available
The Arctic climate greatly reduces prevalence of many infectious diseases that have high morbidity in warmer climates. Yet, some infections occur commonly when the pathogens have adapted to Arctic conditions by passing through the bodies of diverse hosts, thus obviating direct encounter with the external environment. Food-borne infections acquired...
Article
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The reindeer (caribou) Rangifer tarandus is a Cervidae in the order Artiodactyla. Reindeer are sedentary and migratory populations with circumpolar distribution in the Arctic, Northern Europe, Siberia and North America. Reindeer are an important wild and domesticated species, and have developed various adaptive strategies to extreme environments. I...
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During the slaughter period in autumn 1992 and 1993 lungs and the gastrointestinal tract was collected from a single lamb originating from 96 sheep farms, selected to reflect the distribution of farms in Iceland. The results on the gastrointestinal helminths have already been published. The lungs were kept frozen until analysed in 2019. Nematodes w...
Article
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The biodiversity of freshwater ecosystems globally still leaves much to be discovered, not least in the trematode parasite fauna they support. Echinostome trematode parasites have complex, multiple-host life-cycles, often involving migratory bird definitive hosts, thus leading to widespread distributions. Here, we examined the echinostome diversity...
Article
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In 2018 and 2019, salmonid fishes, Salmo trutta L. and Salvelinus alpinus (L.) from lakes in Iceland were assessed for trematodes during a parasitological examination. Combined morphological and molecular analyses revealed the presence of four trematode species, two of which were previously known to parasitise salmonids in Iceland, Crepidostomum fa...
Article
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Dibothriocephalus dendriticus is one of the causative agents of the fish-borne zoonosis diphyllobothriosis. Polymorphic microsatellite markers were originally developed for future genetic studies using microsatellite library screening and next-generation sequencing (NGS). Out of 128 microsatellite candidates selected after NGS analysis, 126 yielded...
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Background: All dogs imported into Iceland must undergo mandatory quarantine in a special station before introduction into the country. A faecal sample is collected from the first stool passed by the dog in this station and subsequently examined for the presence of intestinal parasite stages. Case presentation: In May 2019 unsporulated oocysts w...
Article
Measures of parasitism often differ between hosts. This variation is thought due in part to age or sex differences in exposure to parasites and/or susceptibility to parasitism. We assessed how often age or sex biases in parasitism were found using a large, multi‐year (2006 – 2017) dataset of 12 parasite species of Icelandic Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus...
Article
Peptidylarginine deiminases (PADs) are phylogenetically conserved calcium-dependent enzymes which post-translationally convert arginine into citrulline in target proteins in an irreversible manner, leading to functional and structural changes in target proteins. Protein deimination can cause the generation of neo-epitopes, affect gene regulation an...
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A total of 1209 ptarmigan were examined for Mironovia lagopus, including 721 juvenile birds (ca. 3 months old) and 488 adult birds (15 months or older). A total of 88 birds or 7.3% (n = 1209, 95% cl 5.9–8.9%) were infested with M. lagopus. There was an age difference in prevalence of infection, and more adults (10.7%, n = 488, 95% cl 8.2–13.7%) tha...
Article
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Digenean parasites feature a series of stages with a distinct appearance, reproduction mode, and lifestyle that together constitute their well-known, complex life cycle. Species descriptions of Digenea have always been based on one of these stages—the marita, or sexually reproducing adult in the final host. However, in some cases, data on the life...
Article
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Thirteen cestode species have been reported to parasitize terrestrial mammals in Iceland. Five have exclusively been found in dogs; four (Echinococcus granulosus, Taenia hydatigena, T. multiceps and Dipylidium caninum) were reported in 1863 when 100 dogs were examined, the fifth species, T. ovis, is regarded to have been introduced later (see below...
Article
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Importing dogs into Iceland was prohibited or restricted from 1909 until 1989, when the ban was lifted and importing dogs and cats permitted, with the proviso of an enforced period of quarantine and the requirement of specific medical treatments and examinations. Prior to importation pets must be treated against cestodes and external parasites. Fro...
Article
Abiotic and biotic transformation of toxaphene (camphechlor) results in the selective enrichment of recalcitrant congeners while other, less persistent compounds of technical toxaphene (CTTs) are degraded. Up to now there is little knowledge on oxidation transformation of toxaphene. For instance, existence of hydroxylated CTTs (OH-CTTs) in authenti...
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Feather holes have traditionally been suggested to be feeding traces of chewing lice (mallophagans). There is controversy whether mallophagans are the real source of feather holes. We studied mallophagan infestations and holes in tail feathers of 528 rock ptarmigan Lagopus muta collected 2007–2012 in northeast Iceland. Three mallophagans were found...
Article
Between 2008 and 2011, four polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the Greenland population swam and/or drifted on ice to Iceland where they arrived in very poor body condition. Body fat resources in these animals were only between 0% and 10% of the body weight (usually 25%). Here we studied the lipid composition in different tissues (adipose tissue if...
Article
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Populations of rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta) in Iceland fluctuate in multiannual cycles with peak numbers c. every 10 years. We studied the ptarmigan-parasite community and how parasites relate to ptarmigan age, body condition, and population density. We collected 632 ptarmigan in northeast Iceland in early October from 2006 to 2012; 630 (99.7%) we...
Article
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Necropsies of 1010 rock ptarmigans (Lagopus muta) sampled in autumn 2006-2015 in northeast Iceland revealed Mesocestoides canislagopodis tetrathyridia infections in six birds (0.6 %), two juvenile birds (3 month old), and four adult birds (15 months or older). Four birds had tetrathyridia in the body cavity, one bird in the liver, and one bird both...
Article
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Zoonotic Echinococcus spp. cestodes are present in almost all circumpolar nations, and have historically posed a risk to health of indigenous as well as other northern residents. However, surveillance data on both alveolar (AE) and cystic (CE) echinococcosis remains incomplete throughout the circumpolar region: Russia, Fennoscandia, Iceland, Greenl...
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The life cycle of Mesocestoides tapeworms (Cestoda: Cyclophyllidea: Mesocestoididae) requires three hosts. The first intermediate host is unknown but believed to be an arthropod. The second intermediate host is a vertebrate. The primary definitive host is a carnivore mammal, or a bird of prey, that eats the tetrathyridium-infected second intermedia...
Article
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Common eider _Somateria mollissima_ L. 1758, subsp. _borealis_, is widely distributed along the coasts of Iceland. In this study association of parasite infections and food composition was studied among 40 females and 38 males (66 adults, 12 subadults), shot under license on four occasions within the same year (February; before egg-laying in May; a...
Article
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Fecal samples of 11 calves shot in the Ameralik area, West Greenland, in August-September 2014 were examined for coccidian parasites. The calves belonged to a population of interbreeding indigenous caribou Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus and feral semi-domestic Norwegian reindeer Rangifer tarandus tarandus. Two coccidian species were found: Eimeria...
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Projections by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and sea ice forecasts suggest that Arctic sea ice will decline markedly in coming decades. Expected effects on the entire ecosystem include a contraction of suitable polar bear habitat into one or few refugia. Such large-scale habitat decline and fragmentation could lead to reduced...
Article
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The aim of this paper is to report cases of the intestinal parasitic nematode Strongyloides stercoralis in dogs in Iceland. The nematode was diagnosed in 20 (0.6%) of imported dogs in quaratine in Iceland during 1989- 2016. Household dogs: The first case of S. stercoralis infection diagnosed outside quaratine in Iceland was in an unhealthy househol...
Article
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We examined 46 Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) carcasses from Iceland for parasites, including 29 first-year birds and 17 second-year birds and older. Endoparasites observed were the trematodes Cryptocotyle lingua (prevalence 8%), Cryptocotyle concavum (4%), and Strigea sp. (8%); the cestode Mesocestoides sp. (27%); and the nematodes Eucoleus contortu...
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Parasitological investigations carried out on birds in Iceland and France highlight the presence of four species of avian schistosomes from greylag geese (Anser anser L.): the european nasal species Trichobilharzia regenti and three visceral species, among which an unknown species isolated from blood vessels of the large intestine and liver. Morpho...
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In recent decades the native Barren-ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus) south of the Godthaabs fjord (Nuup Kangerlua fjord) in West Greenland have mixed with semi-domesticated Norwegian reindeer (R. t. tarandus) imported in 1952 from Finnmark Norway and released onto the range of the Ameralik caribou population. Fecal samples from thre...
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The spleen and bursa of Fabricius in birds are organs that play an important role in fighting parasite infections. The size of these organs can be used by ecologists as a measure of immune investment, with larger size implying greater investment. The bursa only occurs in juvenile birds during the development of the B cell repertoire, whereas the sp...
Article
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Blue mussels, Mytilus edulis, serve as second intermediate hosts for several trematode species, but little is known about the mechanisms underlying parasite infections in mussels. To reveal these mechanisms, the prevalence and intensity of trematode larvae (metacercariae in species of Gymnophallus, Himasthla and Renicola) were examined in blue muss...
Article
Frequent infections with Diplostomum spp. (Digenea: Diplostomidae) were found in the freshwater snail Radix peregra (Müller) and three fish species, the salmonids Salmo trutta fario L., Salvelinus alpinus (L.) and the gasterosteid Gasterosteus aculeatus L., collected in four lakes in south-western Iceland in 2012. Detailed analysis of the isolates...
Article
Host-parasite systems at high latitudes are promising model systems for detecting and predicting the impact of accelerated environmental change. A major challenge is the lack of baselines for the diversity and distribution of parasites in Arctic wildlife, especially in the freshwater environment. Here we present the first known estimates of the spe...
Article
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Ecrobia ventrosa is a mudsnail most commonly found in brackish salt marsh ponds but also on mudflats and in the upper part of the intertidal zone in a few isolated areas restricted to the west and southwest coasts of Iceland. Locally the distribution is patchy but in salt marsh ponds the snail can be very abundant. Salt marsh pond is a unique habit...
Article
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Rannsóknir og þróun eru undirstaða allra atvinnugreina. Atvinnugrein sem heldur ekki í við framfarir og þróun þrífst ekki eða dafnar til lengdar. Á Tilraunastöð Háskóla Íslands í meinafraeði að Keldum eru stundaðar rannsóknir sem tengjast dýraheilbrigði og sjúkdómum í dýrum og mönnum. Þar er veitt ráðgjöf og þjónusta í þágu heilbrigðiseftirlits, sj...
Article
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Background The digenean species of Echinostoma (Echinostomatidae) with 37 collar spines that comprise the so-called ‘revolutum’ species complex, qualify as cryptic due to the interspecific homogeneity of characters used to differentiate species. Only five species were considered valid in the most recent revision of the group but recent molecular st...
Article
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Parasitological investigations on red-breasted mergansers (Mergus serrator L.) in Iceland revealed digenean flukes of the family Schistosomatidae. Adult worms were detected in blood vessels of the large intestine and eggs were deposited in the mucosa and surrounded by granulomatous reactions. Traditional morphological methods showed that the flukes...
Article
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Eight species of ticks of the family Ixodidae have been identified in Iceland; Ixodes uriae, I. caledonicus, I. ricinus, I. hexagonus, I. cf scapularis, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, Dermacentor variabilis and Hyalomma aegyptium. Ticks of the family Argasidae have not been found. I. uriae is indigenous and common in seabird colonies in Iceland. I. cale...
Article
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Cercarial dermatitis (swimmer's itch) is a common non-communicable water-borne disease. It is caused by penetration of the skin by larvae (cercariae) of schistosomatid flukes and develops as a maculopapular skin eruption after repeated contacts with the parasites. The number of outbreaks of the disease is increasing, and cercarial dermatitis can th...
Article
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The small planorbid snail Gyraulus cf. laevis (Alder) from Lake Mývatn in Iceland was found to emit large-tailed cercariae with 19 collar spines, and three-spined sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus L. were infected with metacercariae of a species of Petasiger Dietz, 1909. Comparative sequence analysis using ND1 mitochondrial DNA sequences revealed...
Article
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House mice (Mus musculus) are commensals of humans and therefore their phylogeography can reflect human colonization and settlement patterns. Previous studies have linked the distribution of house mouse mitochondrial (mt) DNA clades to areas formerly occupied by the Norwegian Vikings in Norway and the British Isles. Norwegian Viking activity also e...
Data
Table S1. Primers used to amplify the ancient mtDNA D-loop sequence. Primers in italics were used to amplify a smaller fragment where the first set of primers for that region failed to amplify; in one case (Frag 2) the fragment was sub-divided into two reactions. Fragments marked with an asterisk were cloned.
Article
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One hundred rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta), including 30 each of juvenile males and females, and 20 each of adult males and females, were collected in October 2006 in northeast Iceland to study their parasite fauna. Fourteen different parasite species were identified: 6 endoparasites (including the protozoans Eimeria muta, Eimeria rjupa; the heterok...
Article
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The first author detected the nasal bird schistosome Trichobilharzia regenti in Iceland in Anas platyrhynchos in Landmannalaugar in autumn of 2003. Since then, measurements and morphological studies have been performed on fresh worms (fragments) obtained in the area from naturally infected ducks, A. platyrhynchos and Aythya marila. In the present s...
Article
The present study assessed and compared the oxidative and reductive biotransformation of brominated flame retardants, including established polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and emerging decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE) using an in vitro system based on liver microsomes from various arctic marine-feeding mammals: polar bear (Ursus maritimus),...
Poster
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The beginning of a study on marine Notocotylidae (Digenea) at the White Sea, first diversity assessment
Article
Using a small animal imaging system, migratory activity of Toxocara canis larvae stained by carboxyfluorescein succinimidyl ester (CFSE) was observed post primary infection (PPI) and post reinfection (PR) of BALB/c mice. Each infection was performed with 1,000 larvae per mouse. Primary infections were performed with labeled larvae, while for challe...
Article
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Seasonal occurrence of gastrointestinal helminths was studied in ten replacement ewe lambs/young ewes in a flock of sheep in E Iceland from the round-up day 23 September 2002 until autumn of the next year, by performing faecal egg counts on 16 occasions. The lambs never received antiparasitic drugs. Five types of eggs were identified, corresponding...
Article
Recently, the systematic use of the molecular approach as a complement to the other approaches (morphology, biology, life cycle) has brought help for the identification of species considered as different in the past to be regrouped and synonymised, and distinctions to be drawn between species similar at the morphological level. Among these species,...
Article
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A new species of syringophilid mites, Mironovia lagopus sp. nov. (Acari: Syringophilidae) is described from feather quills of the rock ptarigman Lagopus muta (Montin) (Phasianidae) from Iceland. Females of this new species differ from the closely related Mironovia rouloul Skoracki and Sikora by setae d2, which are subequal or 1.1-1.2 times shorter...