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MALACOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION OF THE FULLY OPERATIONAL NAM THEUN 2 HYDROELECTRIC DAM PROJECT IN KHAMMOUANE PROVINCE, CENTRAL LAO PDR.

Abstract

We conducted a malacological investigation in four districts of the Nam Theun 2 (NT2) hydroelectric dam project area, Khammouane Province, central Lao PDR (Nakai, Gnommalath, Mahaxai and Xe Bang Fai), after the first and second years of full operation in March 2010 and November 2011 to determine health risks for humans. A total 10,863 snail specimens (10 families/23 species) from 57 sampling stations and 12,902 snail specimens (eight families/21 species) from 66 sampling stations were collected in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Neotricula aperta (gamma race), the intermediate host for Schistosoma mekongi, was found in large numbers (5,853 specimens) in 2010 in Nam Gnom (downstream) at Station 25 (Mueang Gnommalath: Gnommalath District) and in fewer numbers (170 specimens) at Station 26 (Ban Thathod: Gnommalath District). In 2011, significantly fewer numbers (434 specimens) of N. aperta were found at Station 25. No snails were found to be infected with S. mekongi; however, 3.6% and 0.45% of Bithynia (D.). s. goniomphalos specimens collected were found to be infected with Opisthorchis viverrini (human liver fluke) during 2010 and 2011, respectively. Pomacea canaliculata, the rice crop pest, the intermediate host of Angiostrongylus (Parastrongylus) cantonensis, was found in the greatest numbers during 2010 and 2011; the prevalence increased significantly from 1.3% in 2010 to 53.3% in 2011. We also found seasonal variation in snail populations in terms of abundance and diversity. The snail fauna and risk for transmission of parasitic diseases need to be monitored continuously to evaluate the long-term impact of the dam project.

PMID:
26863858
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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