1921
image of Schistosoma mansoni Vector Snails in Antigua and Montserrat, with Snail-Related Considerations Pertinent to a Declaration of Elimination of Human Schistosomiasis
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645

Abstract

Investigations leading to a WHO-validated declaration of elimination of schistosomiasis transmission are contemplated for several countries, including Caribbean island nations. With assistance from the Pan American Health Organization, we undertook freshwater snail surveys in two such nations, Antigua and Barbuda, and Montserrat in September and October 2017. Historically, the transmission of supported by the Neotropical vector snail occurred in both countries. Transmission on the islands is thought to have been interrupted by the treatment of infected people, improved sanitation, introduction of competitor snails, and on Montserrat with the eruption of the Soufrière volcano which decimated known habitats. Guided by the available literature and local expertise, we found snails in seven of 15 and one of 14 localities on Antigua and Montserrat, respectively, most of which were identified anatomically and molecularly as . Two localities on Antigua harbored , but no schistosome infections in snails were found. For snail-related aspects of validation of elimination, there are needs to undertake basic local training in medical malacology, be guided by historical literature and recent human schistosomiasis surveys, improve and validate sampling protocols for aquatic habitats, enlist local expertise to efficiently find potential transmission sites, use both anatomical and molecular identifications of schistosomes or putative vector snail species found, if possible determine the susceptibility of recovered spp. to , publish survey results, and provide museum vouchers of collected snails and parasites as part of the historical record.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.4269/ajtmh.20-0588
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  • Received : 03 Jun 2020
  • Accepted : 27 Jul 2020
  • Published online : 08 Sep 2020
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