The wide geographic distribution of Schistosoma mansoni, a digenetic trematode and parasite of humans, is determined by the occurrence of its intermediate hosts, freshwater snails of the genus Biomphalaria (Preston 1910). We present phylogenetic analyses of 23 species of Biomphalaria, 16 Neotropical and seven African, including the most important schistosome hosts, using partial mitochondrial ribosomal 16S and complete nuclear ribosomal ITS1 and ITS2 nucleotide sequences. A dramatically better resolution was obtained by combining the data sets as opposed to analyzing each separately, indicating that there is additive congruent signal in each data set. Neotropical species are basal, and all African species are derived, suggesting an American origin for the genus. We confirm that a proto-Biomphalaria glabrata gave rise to all African species through a trans-Atlantic colonization of Africa. In addition, genetic distances among African species are smaller compared with those among Neotropical species, indicating a more recent origin. There are two species-rich clades, one African with B. glabrata as its base, and the other Neotropical. Within the African clade, a wide-ranging tropical savannah species, B. pfeifferi, and a Nilotic species complex, have both colonized Rift Valley lakes and produced endemic lacustrine forms. Within the Neotropical clade, two newly acquired natural hosts for S. mansoni (B. straminea and B. tenagophila) are not the closest relatives of each other, suggesting two separate acquisition events. Basal to these two species-rich clades are several Neotropical lineages with large genetic distances between them, indicating multiple lineages within the genus. Interesting patterns occur regarding schistosome susceptibility: (1) the most susceptible hosts belong to a single clade, comprising B. glabrata and the African species, (2) several susceptible Neotropical species are sister groups to apparently refractory species, and (3) some basal lineages are susceptible. These patterns suggest the existence of both inherent susceptibility and resistance, but also underscore the ability of S. mansoni to adapt to and acquire previously unsusceptible species as hosts. Biomphalaria schrammi appears to be distantly related to other Biomphalaria as well as to Helisoma, and may represent a separate or intermediate lineage.
Schistosoma mansoni is the most widespread of the human-infecting schistosomes, present in 54 countries, predominantly in Africa, but also in Madagascar, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Neotropics. Adult-stage parasites that infect humans are also occasionally recovered from baboons, rodents, and other mammals. Larval stages of the parasite are dependent upon certain species of freshwater snails in the genus Biomphalaria, which largely determine the parasite's geographical range. How S. mansoni genetic diversity is distributed geographically and among isolates using different hosts has never been examined with DNA sequence data. Here we describe the global phylogeography of S. mansoni using more than 2500 bp of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from 143 parasites collected in 53 geographically widespread localities. Considerable within-species mtDNA diversity was found, with 85 unique haplotypes grouping into five distinct lineages. Geographical separation, and not host use, appears to be the most important factor in the diversification of the parasite. East African specimens showed a remarkable amount of variation, comprising three clades and basal members of a fourth, strongly suggesting an East African origin for the parasite 0.30-0.43 million years ago, a time frame that follows the arrival of its snail host. Less but still substantial variation was found in the rest of Africa. A recent colonization of the New World is supported by finding only seven closely related New World haplotypes which have West African affinities. All Brazilian isolates have nearly identical mtDNA haplotypes, suggesting a founder effect from the establishment and spread of the parasite in this large country.
BackgroundIn Brazil, schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease of public health relevance, mainly in poor areas where Schistosoma mansoni is the only human species encountered and Biomphalaria straminea is one of the intermediate host snails. A nested-PCR based on a specific mitochondrial S. mansoni minisatellite DNA region has been successfully developed and applied as a reference method in Brazil for S. mansoni detection, mainly in host snails for epidemiological studies. The amplification efficiency of LAMP is known to be higher than PCR. The present work aimed to assess the utility of our previously described SmMIT-LAMP assay for S. mansoni detection in human stool and snail samples in a low-transmission area of schistosomiasis in the municipality of Umbuzeiro, Paraíba State, Northeast Region of Brazil.Methodology/Principal findingsA total of 427 human stool samples were collected during June-July 2016 in the municipality of Umbuzeiro and an overall prevalence of 3.04% (13/427) resulted positive by duplicate Kato-Katz thick smear. A total of 1,175 snails identified as Biomphalaria straminea were collected from 14 breeding sites along the Paraíba riverbank and distributed in 46 pools. DNA from human stool samples and pooled snails was extracted using the phenol/chloroform method. When performing the SmMIT-LAMP assay a total of 49/162 (30.24%) stool samples resulted positive, including 12/13 (92.31%) that were Kato-Katz positive and 37/149 (24.83%) previously Kato-Katz negative. By nested-PCR, only 1/46 pooled DNA snail samples was positive. By SmMIT-LAMP assay, the same sample also resulted positive and an additional one was positive from a different breeding site. Data of human and snail surveys were used to build risk maps of schistosomiasis incidence using kernel density analysis.Conclusions/SignificanceThis is the first study in which a LAMP assay was evaluated in both human stool and snail samples from a low-transmission schistosomiasis-endemic area. Our SmMIT-LAMP proved to be much more efficient in detection of S. mansoni in comparison to the 'gold standard' Kato-Katz method in human stool samples and the reference molecular nested-PCR in snails. The SmMIT-LAMP has demonstrated to be a useful molecular tool to identify potential foci of transmission in order to build risk maps of schistosomiasis.
Primers targeting the gene encoding the small subunit rRNA were designed to amplify DNA from Schistosoma mansoni with high specificity. Three PCR systems were developed: conventional PCR, two-step nested PCR (NPCR) and single-tube nested PCR (STNPCR). The limits of detection of parasite DNA for the conventional PCR, NPCR and STNPCR were 10 pg, 0.1 fg and 1 fg, respectively. The assays were highly specific for S. mansoni and did not recognise DNA from closely related non-schistosome trematodes. Using pools of Biomphalaria molluscs, PCR, NPCR and STNPCR were positive in 6/16 (37.5%), 15/16 (93.8%) and 13/16 (81.3%) of the tested samples, respectively, whereas the observation of cercariae shedding after exposure to light was able to detect S. mansoni infection in 6/16 (37.5%) of the pools. Thus, the molecular detection systems had a higher level of sensitivity than standard screening of intermediate hosts by cercarial shedding when DNA was purified from pools of snails collected from endemic areas. These PCR protocols have potential to be used as tools for monitoring of schistosome transmission.
ResumoA esquistossomose continua a ser um problema de saúde pública no Nordeste do Brasil embora o emprego, em larga escala, da quimioterapia venha sendo apontado como um dos fatores responsáveis pela redução das formas graves. O Estado de Pernambuco vem apresentando taxas crescentes de infecção humana para esquistossomose com perfil epidemiológico de prevalências crônicas (até 80%) na região rural e casos recentes de infecção aguda no litoral. Discute-se a reprodução e expansão da esquistossomose a partir de uma concepção estrutural e histórica de causas, onde se inserem fatores não só de ordem biológica mas também sociais, políticos e culturais que vêm contribuindo para a formação dos quadros endêmicos: a forma de ocupação e do uso da terra, desemprego, desnutrição, migração e outros. Questionam-se as crescentes dificuldades para o controle da doença e o papel da investigação epidemiológica na compreensão da essência social do processo saúde/doença.
INTRODUÇÃO: Em 1988, 22 casos autóctones de esquistossomose foram registrados na Praia do Forte Orange, ilha de Itamaracá, Pernambuco. Todos os casos ocorreram em indivíduos de classe média/alta que veraneavam na ilha. Foi realizado estudo com o objetivo de identificar e caracterizar criadouros/focos de vetores da esquistossomose na localidade, correlacionando os determinantes biológicos da doença com o contexto ambiental da sua ocorrência. MÉTODOS: Foram levantados dados secundários para resgatar as características ambientais da área antes da ocupação humana. O inquérito malacológico teve a duração de um ano com mapeamento da área, coleta mensal e exame dos moluscos. RESULTADOS/CONCLUSÕES: Em 1 km de extensão da praia, foram identificados 20 criadouros e demarcadas 28 estações de coleta. Os resultados mostram a variação mensal da densidade populacional de moluscos e das taxas de infecção, correlacionados com sazonalidade e tipos de criadouros. Destaca-se a importância desse novo perfil epidemiológico da esquistossomose em Pernambuco, relacionando o modo de ocupação daquele espaço com o estabelecimento de sítios de transmissão ativa da esquistossomose.
Uncontrolled peripheral urbanisation coupled with environmental degradation has affected the status of schistosomiasis in Pernambuco (PE), Brazil. This endemic disease continues to perpetuate its transmission in rural areas and has also become a cause for concern in coastal towns of the state. The lack of basic infrastructure (sanitation and health programmes) to support the new urban areas leads to faecal contamination of natural aquatic environments, resulting in consequent infection of vector snails and the emergence of new sources of schistosomiasis transmission. In the present paper, we discuss the current epidemiological status of schistosomiasis in PE. We have consolidated and analysed information from parasitological, malacological and morbidity surveys undertaken by the group of researchers at the Laboratory of Schistosomiasis, Centro de Pesquisas Aggeu Magalhães-Fiocruz. The results of our analysis show: (i) the maintenance of the levels of schistosomiasis in the rural Zona da Mata, PE, (ii) the record of the human cases of schistosomiasis and the foci of infected snails detected along the coast of PE through 2007, (iii) the high record of the severe clinical form of schistosomiasis in the metropolitan region of Recife (RMR) and (iv) new breeding sites of schistosomiasis vector snails that were identified in a 2008 survey covering the RMR and the coastal localities of PE.
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