Effect Of Seasonal Rainfall And Other Environmental Changes, On Snail Density And Infection Rates With Schistosoma mansoni Fifteen Years After The Last Snails\' Study In Kigungu, Entebbe, Uganda
Background: The last study on snail population density in relation to rainfall pattern in Kigungu canoe landing and recreational sites on Lake Victoria shore was earlier carried out about fifteen years ago. This study also reviewed the influence of other environmental factors on the snails\' infection rate. Objective: To reassess the density dynamic of Biomphalaria (B) choanomphala and Biomphalaria (B) pfeifferi, which act as the intermediate host for S. mansoni and Bulinus (B) globosus, and Bulinus (B) tropicus, which act as intermediate host for S. haematobium. Design: Retrospective study. Setting: Busy canoe landing sites along Lake Victoria in Kigungu fishing village were selected for the snail sampling. Results: Nine thousand one hundred and ninety four B. choanomphala were collected over the study period. The numbers of B. choanomphala collected in each year was 4742 (51.6%) and 4452 (48.4%) in 2004 and 2005 respectively. Of the 4742 B.Choanomphala collected in 2004, 82 (1.7%) shed human cercariae and 329 (6.7%) shed non-human cercariae. Whereas in 2005, out of 4452 B. choanomphala collected 302 (6.85%) shed non-human cercariae and 82 (1.8%) shed human cercariae. Similarly, 4173 B. pfeifferi were also collected in the same period. Out of which 2224 (53.3%) were collected in 2004 and 1949 (46.7%) in 2005. For B. pfeifferi, 42 (1.9%) out of 2224 snails collected in 2004 shed human cercariae and 246 (11.1%) shed non-human cercariae. While in 2005, 33 out of 1949 snails (1.7%) shed human cercariae and 159 (8.2%) shed non-human cercariae. Other snails of medical importance collected included 292 B. globosus and 3094 B. tropicus. None of the Bulinus spp. collected shed any human cercariae but 37 (2.1%) and 30 (2.3%) B. tropicus shed non-human cercariae in 2004 and 2005 respectively. In 2004 and 2005, the area received, 1729mm and 1959mm of rainfall respectively. The mean rainfall during the year was 144.05 mm and 163.3 mm in 2004 and 2005 respectively. There was a negative correlation between rainfalls and snail density dynamic. Conclusion: We have found in this study that in spite of the bush clearing of the papyrus swamps which originally was the major habitats for B. choanomphala, B. pfeifferi and the Bulinus spp the intermediate host for schistosome at all canoe landing sites at Kigungu, these snails are still present. Moreover, that their population density dynamic and infection rate are inversely proportional to the rainfall pattern.
East African Medical Journal Vol. 85 (11) 2008: pp. 556-563