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Trematode diversity in the freshwater snail Bithyniasiamensisgoniomphalos sensu lato from Thailand and Lao PDR

Kiatsopit, N., Sithithaworn, P., Kopolrat, K., Namsanor, J., Andrews, R.H., Petney, T.N.
Journal of helminthology 2016 v.90 no.3 pp. 312-320
Opisthorchis viverrini, biological resistance, cercariae, human health, intermediate hosts, larvae, liver flukes, snails, trematode infections, Laos, Thailand
In order to obtain a comprehensive understanding of trematode diversity in Bithynia siamensis goniomphalos sensu lato, the first intermediate host of the liver fluke Opisthorchis viverrini s.l., the prevalence of larval trematode species was investigated in different localities in Thailand and Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR). In Thailand, snail samples were collected from 29 localities in the nine provinces: Buri Ram, Surin, Chaiya Phum, Maha Sarakham, Khon Kaen, Kalasin, Mukdahan, Sakon Nakhon and Nakhon Phanom. In Lao PDR, snail samples were collected from 21 localities in Vientiane Province and six localities in Savannakhet Province. Snails were identified by standard morphological criteria and then examined for trematode infection using the cercarial shedding method. Twenty different types of cercariae were detected and identified, based on morphological criteria. Virgulate type 1 emerged as the most common cercaria, with an average prevalence of 10.90% (range 0.26–54.22%) in Thailand and 6.58% (range 1.15–89.77%) in Lao PDR. Opisthorchis viverrini s.l. cercariae were the fourth most common in Thailand, with an average prevalence of 1.59% (0.15–6.93), while in Lao PDR their prevalence was 0.96% (0.08–8.37). The high diversity of trematode cercariae observed in this study indicates that B. s. goniomphalos s.l. is highly susceptible to infection with a variety of trematode species. However, the role of non-opisthorchiid trematodes as fish-borne parasites in human health is not fully known and further molecular identification is required.