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J Parasitol. 1999 Jun;85(3):436-41.

Genetic diversity and recruitment pattern of Schistosoma mansoni in a Biomphalaria glabrata snail population: a field study using random-amplified polymorphic DNA markers.

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Laboratoire de Biologie Animale, UMR 5555 CNRS, Centre de Biologie et d'Ecologie Tropicale et Méditerranéenne, Université, Perpignan, France.


Random-amplified polymorphic DNA markers have been used to assess the amount and the distribution of the genetic diversity of Schistosoma mansoni within a natural population of Biomphalaria glabrata at a transmission site of the murine schistosomiasis focus of Guadeloupe. Despite high infection rate and heavy schistosome load within the definitive hosts (Ratus rattus), prevalences within intermediate snails ranged from 0.2 to 4.8%. Whatever the transmission season may be (rainy vs. dry), most of the infected snails were spatially aggregated and 88.4% of them harbored a single parasite genotype indicative of a monomiracidial infection; 4.7% had dual sex infections and a parasite intensity not exceeding 3 miracidia per snail. A substantial resistance level toward the parasite and recruitment regulatory process within snails may explain in part the observed low parasite prevalences and intensities. Considering such a distribution pattern of larval S. mansoni genetic diversity among B. glabrata, mobility of the definitive hosts, or rapid turnover of infected snails, or both, are required to maintain genetic heterogeneity within adult schistosome populations.

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