Volume 28, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Preliminary studies have shown that various species of aquatic snails may be used as decoys or “sponges” to intercept schistosome miracidia, thereby preventing the miracidia from reaching the snails which normally serve as their intermediate host. In this study, four species of snails were evaluated as candidate decoys for field trials: , and . In the laboratory all four species caused considerable reductions in the proportion of infected by miracidia of . The most effective decoys were and , both of which caused experimental infection levels of 90% to decrease to 25% when five decoy snails were present for each target snail. When ten decoy snails were present for each target snail, the proportion infected decreased to 1%. was chosen as the candidate for field trials because it was found more frequently in Puerto Rico than was . Initial field trials in two ponds showed that blocked infections at a ratio of 6 decoys to 1 target snail, confirming the laboratory results. Further studies in flowing water are needed before the technique can be generally evaluated in an endemic area.


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