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Occurrence of digenean parasites in freshwater snails in the Murrumbidgee catchment area, Australia

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Shamsi, S., Banfield, A., Francis, N., Barton, D. P. and McLellan, M. (2023) Occurrence of digenean parasites in freshwater snails in the Murrumbidgee catchment area, Australia. Food and Waterborne Parasitology, 32 . e00202. ISSN 2405-6766


Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fawpar.2023.e00202

Publisher URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S240567662300015X


Freshwater snails are important hosts in the life cycles of many medically important parasites, particularly for digenetic trematodes such as liver flukes and schistosomes. The current study was conducted to determine the infection of freshwater snails with parasites that can potentially be transmitted to humans within the Murrumbidgee catchment area which is an area of widespread intensive aquaculture in Australia. A total of 116 freshwater snails, belonging to three species (Isidorella hainesii, Glyptophysa novaehollandica and Bullastra lessoni), were examined for the presence of parasites in both man-made and natural environments. The analysis of sequence data, including the internal transcribed spacers (ITS) of nuclear ribosomal DNA, small subunit (18S) ribosomal DNA, and large subunit (28S) ribosomal DNA, indicated that the collected parasites belonged to two distinct genera, namely Clinostomum and Echinostoma. It is noteworthy that species of both of these digenean parasites have the potential to be zoonotic. Cercariae of both Clinostomum and Echinostoma were observed in snails collected from aquaculture settings. It is important to highlight that infectious stages of Clinostomum  has been previously detected in edible fish within Australia. This information raises concerns regarding the potential transmission of these parasites to humans through the consumption of contaminated fish. These findings emphasize the importance of monitoring and controlling the presence of Clinostomum and Echinostoma in aquaculture environments to minimise the risk of zoonotic infections and ensure food safety. Further research and surveillance are needed to better understand the prevalence, transmission dynamics, and potential public health implications associated with these parasites in the context of aquaculture in Australia.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland
Business groups:Biosecurity Queensland
Keywords:Food safety Food-borne parasites Parasite transmission Intermediate hosts
Subjects:Science > Invasive Species > Animals
Science > Zoology > Invertebrates
Veterinary medicine > Veterinary parasitology
Live Archive:14 May 2024 00:22
Last Modified:14 May 2024 00:22

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