In the summers of 2001 and 2002, we quantitatively sampled human-biting flies in twelve sites located 1.6 to 63 km from a large copper-nickel smelter at Monchegorsk on the Kola Peninsula, Russia. We collected 429 specimens of three species of Ceratopogonidae, 92 specimens of seven species of Culicidae, 76 specimens of seven species of Tabanidae, and 4,788 specimens of 19 species of Simuliidae. Culicoides chiropterus was for the first time reported from the Kola Peninsula. Catches of Culicidae and Simuliidae decreased near the smelter, presumably due to the combined action of toxicity of pollutants, pollution-induced forest damage, and decline in vertebrate density. An abundance of Ceratopogonidae and Tabanidae, the size of the most common black fly species, Simulium pusillum, and the diversity of all families did not change along the pollution gradient.
A local case of dirofilariasis was first reported in a 70-year-old female in Magnitogorsk, Chelyabinsk Region, in November 2002. The primary diagnosis is atheroma of the skin of the forehead. A round mass having a smooth surface and slightly solid gray-whitish walls was surgically excised, which yielded a mobile rolled nematode measuring 7 cm in length and 0.8 mm in width. The parasitological diagnosis is an immature Dirofilaria repense female. It has been found that the female has neither dogs nor cats in her flat and she had not been left Mangitogorsk for approximately 18 years. A histological examination of the fibrotic capsule around the parasite revealed inflammation in the inner layer of the capsule, which was regarded as proliferative and having no signs of a granulomatous process. Fragments of cuticles of a round helminth having a well-defined alimentary tube was found. To encode the case, the authors have used Category B74.8 "Other types of filarisis (dirofilariasis)" of the first class, ICD-10.
In the ancient Lake Baikal, Russia, amphipod crustaceans have undergone a spectacular adaptive radiation, resulting in a diverse community of species. A survey of microsporidian parasites inhabiting endemic and non-endemic amphipod host species at the margins of Lake Baikal indicates that the endemic amphipods harbour many microsporidian parasite groups associated with amphipods elsewhere in Eurasia. While these parasites may have undergone a degree of adaptive radiation within the lake, there is little evidence of host specificity. Furthermore, a lack of reciprocal monophyly indicates that exchanges of microsporidia between Baikalian and non-Baikalian hosts have occurred frequently in the past and may be ongoing. Conversely, limitations to parasite exchange between Baikalian and non-Baikalian host populations at the margins of the lake are implied by differences in parasite prevalence and lack of shared microsporidian haplotypes between the two host communities. While amphipod hosts have speciated sympatrically within Lake Baikal, the parasites appear instead to have accumulated, moving into the lake from external amphipod populations on multiple occasions to exploit the large and diverse community of endemic amphipods in Lake Baikal.
A circumpolar survey of heavy metals in willow ptarmigan liver and kidney revealed considerable variations in Cd content in Canada and Scandinavia. The Cd content in central Canada was comparable with that in Scandinavia and Russia, at least for kidney. However, in both liver and kidney the median for Canada as a whole was much higher than in the other countries. Some Canadian locations had exceptionally high levels, several birds having >50 mg kg(-1) in liver and >400 mg kg(-1) in kidney. In Norway, the Cd content was highest in central mountain areas in south Norway and inland locations in the two northernmost counties. Five locations in central and north Norway showed mean Cd levels in kidney above 100 mg kg(-1). It is difficult to evaluate regional differences in Sweden, but most locations had the same Cd level as moderately contaminated locations in Norway. Cd levels in Russia were comparable to moderately contaminated locations in the other countries. Due to a high intake of willow, naturally rich in Cd, direct comparison of the Cd level in willow ptarmigan from different locations cannot reveal the effects of long-range pollution. The Pb concentration in willow ptarmigan kidney and liver varied significantly in Norway and Canada, but not in Sweden and Russia. Levels in Sweden and Russia were comparable to those in Canada and low levels in Norway. The highest median value from all locations within countries was found in Norway, both in liver and kidney. The highest Pb content was found in south Norway, indicating an effect of long-range pollution in willow ptarmigan. The level in western Canada was significantly higher than in central Canada. The Hg content in liver varied significantly from one location to another in all the countries and in kidney everywhere except Sweden. In Scandinavia, there is no distinct regional pattern. Canada had a significantly higher Hg level in central than western regions in both tissues the opposite of that found for Cd and Pb. Cu and Zn showed significant variations from one location to another in liver and kidney in Canada and Norway, but only in kidney in samples from Sweden. Comparison between western and central Canada revealed a significant difference for Cu in liver, samples from central Canada having more. There are no significant differences from one country to another, but some localities in Canada seem to have higher Cu concentrations in kidney than are found in Scandinavia and Russia.