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Molecular identification of larval <i>Schistosoma</i> species (Scistosomatidae: Digenea) in intermediate hosts (Biomphalaria) from Mwanza Gulf of Lake Victoria in Tanzania

F.D. Chibwana


Background: Larval stages of Schistosoma species, like other digeneans in snail intermediate hosts, are challenging to delineate morphologically.
Objective: Thus, the main objective of the present study was to identify the morphologically described furcocercariae as Schistosoma species from snails Biomphalaria spp in the Mwanza Gulf of Lake Victoria using DNA barcoding region (cytochrome c oxidase, CO1) and large subunit (LSU) rRNA (28S).
Design: A retrospective clinical-laboratory study.
Setting: Mwanza Gulf, Lake Victoria
Subjects: Sporocysts and cercariae from different snail hosts were included in the analysis.
Results: The 28S ribosomal RNA gene identified the furcocercariae as Schistosoma mansoni by 100% match, while the barcoding region could not identify the specimens as S. mansoni. Conclusions: These results imply that the popular and highly promoted animal barcoding gene, CO1, when used alone may lead to misidentifications of the schistosome species. Thus, it must be considered with caution.

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eISSN: 0012-835X