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A New Population and Habitat for Neotricula aperta in the Mekong River of Northeastern Thailand: A DNA Sequence-Based Phylogenetic Assessment Confirms Identifications and Interpopulation Relationships

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  • Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; Faculty of Medical Science, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand; School of Allied Health Sciences and Public Health, Walailak University, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand

Neotricula aperta (Gastropoda: Pomatiopsidae), the snail intermediate host of Schistosoma mekongi, is found in Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand. We update information on the distribution of this species in the Mekong River and its tributary, the Mun River, in Thailand. DNA sequences of a portion of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 were obtained from N. aperta collected from different locations and used to confirm species and strain identities. Specimens of the β-strain were found in the Mun River, whereas specimens of the γ-strain were found in the Mekong River. The γ-strain (with molecular confirmation of identity) is newly reported from Nong Khai Province, where it occurred in a habitat novel for this species: under paving slabs instead of under natural bed rocks, where agal aufwuchs is extensively located on the islet in the middle of the Mekong River. The new location is approximate 400 km upstream from the nearest previously known site for this species.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Wanchai Maleewong, Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand. E-mail: wanch_ma@kku.ac.th

Financial support: This research was funded by Thailand Research Fund (TRF) Grant MRG5680085 (to Y.L.). O.S., W.K., P.M.I., P.J., L.S., and W.M. were supported by a TRF Senior Research Scholar Grant, TRF Grant RTA5580004, and Faculty of Medicine Grant, Khon Kaen University Grant TR57201.

Authors' addresses: Yanin Limpanont, Phiraphol Chusongsang, Yupa Chusongsang, and Jareemate Limsomboon, Southeast Asian Center for Medical Malacology, Department of Social and Environmental Medicine, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand, E-mails: yanin.lim@mahidol.ac.th, phiraphol.chu@mahidol.ac.th, yupa.chu@mahidol.ac.th, and jareemate.lim@mahidol.ac.th. Oranuch Sanpool, Pewpan M. Intapan, Lakkhana Sadaow, and Wanchai Maleewong, Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine and Research and Diagnostic Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand, E-mails: sanpoolor@yahoo.com, pewpan@kku.ac.th, sadaow1986@hotmail.com, and wanch_ma@kku.ac.th. Worasak Kaewkong, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medical Science, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand, E-mail: worasak_bc@hotmail.com. Penchom Janwan, Department of Medical Technology, School of Allied Health Sciences and Public Health, Walailak University, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand, E-mail: pair_wu@yahoo.com.

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