Korean J Parasitol.  2021 Apr;59(2):121-129. 10.3347/kjp.2021.59.2.121.

Population Dynamics of Intermediate-Host Snails in the White Nile River, Sudan: A Year-Round Observational Descriptive Study

Affiliations
  • 1Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases Control Directorate, Federal Ministry of Health, Khartoum, Sudan
  • 2Schistosmaisis Research Laboratory, Zoology Department, Faculty of Science, University of Khartoum
  • 3Department of Infection Biology and Department of Medical Science, Chungnam National University School of Medicine, Daejeon 35015, Korea
  • 4Department of Global Development and Entrepreneurship, Graduate School of Global Development and Entrepreneurship, Handong Global University, Pohang 37554, Korea
  • 5Department of Disease Control, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK
  • 6Department of Microbiology, Dongguk University College of Medicine, Gyeongju 38067, Korea

Abstract

We aimed to explore the population dynamics of snail in 3 sites of the White Nile in Sudan. More specifically, we aimed to investigate the annual patterns of snail populations that act as intermediate hosts of schistosomes and monthly snail infection rates and ecological characteristics presumably related to snail populations. We collected snails for 1 year monthly at 3 different shore sites in the vicinity of El Shajara along the White Nile river in Khartoum State, Sudan. In addition, we measured air and water temperatures, water turbidities, vegetation coverages, and water depths and current speeds. Most of the collected snails were Biomphalaria pfeifferi and Bulinus truncatus. The population densities of snails and their infection rates varied across survey sites. The collected snails liberated S. mansoni and S. haematobium cercariae as well as Amphistome and Echinostome cercariae. Infected snails were found during March-June. The ecological characteristics found to be associated with the absence of snails population were: high turbidity, deep water, low vegetation coverage (near absence of vegetation), high water temperature, and high current speed. To our knowledge, this is the first longitudinal study of the snail population and ecological characteristics in the main basin of the White Nile river.

Keyword

Snail population; ecological characteristics; schistosomiasis; the White Nile; Sudan
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