The correct identification of Biomphalaria oligoza, B. orbignyi and B. peregrina species is difficult due to the morphological similarities among them. B. peregrina is widely distributed in South America and is considered a potential intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni. We have reported the use of the polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the internal transcribed spacer region of the ribosomal DNA for the molecular identification of these snails. The snails were obtained from different localities of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.
The restriction patterns obtained with MvaI enzyme presented the best profile to identify the three species. The profiles obtained with all enzymes were used to estimate genetic similarities among B. oligoza, B. peregrina and B. orbignyi. This is also the first report of B. orbignyi in Uruguay.