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Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 1990 Jan-Mar;85(1):35-8.

Biological control of Biomphalaria tenagophila (Mollusca, Planorbidae), a schistosomiasis vector, using the fish Geophagus brasiliensis (Pisces, Cichlidae) in the laboratory or in a seminatural environment.

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Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Departamento de Biologia, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.


In order to investigate a possible method of biological control of schistosomiasis, we used the fish Geophagus brasiliensis (Quoy & Gaimard, 1824) which is widely distributed throughout Brazil, to interrupt the life cycle of the snail Biomphalaria tenagophila (Orbigny, 1835), an intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni. In the laboratory, predation eliminated 97.6% of the smaller snails (3-8 mm shell diameter) and 9.2% of the larger ones (12-14 mm shell diameter). Very promising results were also obtained in a seminatural environment. Studies of this fish in natural snail habitats should be further encouraged.

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