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Parasitology. 1992 Apr;104 ( Pt 2):291-8.

Long-term dynamics of natural populations of Schistosoma mansoni among Rattus rattus in patchy environment.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Biologie Animale, URA CNRS 698, Centre de Biologie et d'Ecologie tropicale et méditerranéenne, Perpignan, France.


Dynamics of natural populations of Schistosoma mansoni were studied during 8 consecutive years among Rattus rattus populations from 8 transmission sites of the marshy forest focus of Guadeloupe (French West Indies). The schistosome population is over-dispersed (k = 0.119) within the murine hosts and ecological factors linked to the patchy environment may be responsible for such aggregated distribution. Analysis of the spatio-temporal variations in prevalences, intensities and abundances showed limited variations of the infection during the 8 years at the level of the whole parasite population but great spatial heterogeneity at the level of local schistosome populations. Inter-populational genetic variability linked to the degree of adaptation of this human parasite to the murine host may explain differences in transmission dynamics between the local populations of S. mansoni.

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