Hybridism between Biomphalaria cousini and Biomphalaria amazonica and its susceptibility to Schistosoma mansoni


Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz




Molecular techniques can aid in the classification of Biomphalaria species because morphological differentiation between these species is difficult. Previous studies using phylogeny, morphological and molecular taxonomy showed that some populations studied were Biomphalaria cousini instead of Biomphalaria amazonica. Three different molecular profiles were observed that enabled the separation of B. amazonica from B. cousini. The third profile showed an association between the two and suggested the possibility of hybrids between them. Therefore, the aim of this work was to investigate the hybridism between B. cousini and B. amazonica and to verify if the hybrids are susceptible to Schistosoma mansoni. Crosses using the albinism factor as a genetic marker were performed, with pigmented B. cousini and albino B. amazonica snails identified by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism. This procedure was conducted using B. cousini and B. amazonica of the type locality accordingly to Paraense, 1966. In addition, susceptibility studies were performed using snails obtained from the crosses (hybrids) and three S. mansoni strains (LE, SJ, AL). The crosses between B. amazonica and B. cousini confirmed the occurrence of hybrids. Moreover, hybrids can be considered potential hosts of S. mansoni because they are susceptible to LE, SJ and AL strains (4.4%, 5.6% and 2.2%, respectively). These results indicate that there is a risk of introducing schistosomiasis mansoni into new areas.

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