Further record of Bulinus truncatus (Mollusca: Planorbidae) for Malawi, with evidence of compatibility with Schistosoma haematobium

David S. Brown, Sarah Hughes, Anne Kaukas, Newton Kumwenda, David Rollinson, James J. Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The fresh water snail Bulinus truncatus is widespread in northern Africa, where it is an important intermediate host for Schistosoma haematobium, the trematode parasite causing urinary schistosomiasis in man. This snail reaches its southern range limit in Malawi and it has been reported previously from two widely separated localities. A new locality in Malawi is reported here for this snail, identified according to morphology, tetraploid chromosome number (2n = 72), isoenzymes and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS). Laboratory-bred snails were compatible, though infection rate was low, with an isolate of S. haematobium originating from Zimbabwe. Although B. truncatus is not known to be an intermediate host in Malawi, where transmission of S. haematobium depends apparently entirely on B. globosus, our observations suggest the possibility of local evolution of compatibility between B. truncatus and the local strain of this parasite. Since the new locality for B. truncatus indicates that this snail may be widespread and not uncommon in Malawi, it is advisable to establish its distribution through systematic searching.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-339
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of African Zoology
Volume110
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 1996

Keywords

  • African schistosomiasis
  • Bulinus
  • Freshwater snail
  • Malawi
  • Schistosoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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