The Helminthological Collection of the Oswaldo Cruz Institute is the biggest in Latin America and it is among the largest collections at worldwide reference level, with around 40,000 sets of specimens and approximately one million individual specimens. It contains helminths parasites of vertebrate and invertebrate animals that form part of the fauna of Brazil and other countries. The samples comprise holotypes, paratypes and representative specimens of Platyhelminthes, Acanthocephala, Nematoda and other non-helminth phyla, such as Annelida and Arthropoda. Some of the samples preserved in liquid media were found to have dried out. This made it impossible to analyze these samples morphologically for taxonomic purposes. The aim of this study was to test techniques used for rehydration of the tegument of specimens that had been found to have dried out and present protocols for such techniques. A total of 528 specimens that either no longer were immersed in preservatives or had already dried out were analyzed: 96 digenetic trematodes, 45 cestodes, 22 acanthocephalans, 357 nematodes, four hirudineans and four pentastomid crustaceans. The technique of rehydration using only distilled water on the specimens proved to be efficient for recovering tegument malleability, for all samples analyzed in this present study.
Collections; helminths; annelids; crustaceans; rehydration techniques; dried specimens