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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz
ISSN: 1678-8060
EISSN: 1678-8060
Vol. 96, No. s1, 2001, pp. 45-48
Bioline Code: oc01150
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Vol. 96, No. s1, 2001, pp. 45-48

 en Recent Studies on Schistosoma intercalatum check for this species in other resources : Taxonomic Status, Puzzling Distribution and Transmission Foci Revisited
Joseph Jourdane; Vaughan R Southgate; Jean René Pagès & Patrick Durand Louis Albert Tchuem Tchuenté


Schistosoma intercalatum check for this species in other resources , which causes human rectal schistosomiasis in Africa, still presents a great interest for its imprecise taxonomic status and its puzzling distribution in Africa. Two geographically isolated strains of S. intercalatum are recognized, the Lower Guinea strain and the Congo strain, which differ from each other in a number of morphological, biological and biochemical characteristics. Recent molecular data using RAPD markers indicate high divergence between the two strains, with values of Nei and Li's similarity indice allowing recognition of two genetically distinct taxa: experiments on pre- and post-isolating mechanisms are in progress in order to re-evaluate the taxonomic status of this polytypic species. With regard to its geographical distribution, S. intercalatum is characterized by the existence of two stable endemic areas (localized in Lower Guinea and North East of Democratic Republic of Congo) which correspond to the historical areas of species discovery, and the emergence during the last 15 years of new foci of the Lower Guinea strain outside previously known endemic areas. The absence of local adaptation of the Lower Guinea strain to its intermediate host, supported by experimental studies, may help to facilitate the spread of this strain. Nevertheless, the present restricted distribution of this species remains puzzling, because its potential snail hosts (bulinids) are widely distributed throughout much of Africa. Recent experimental and epidemiological studies suggest that interspecific sexual interactions between human schistosomes could have a role in limiting the distribution of S. intercalatum: the competitive sexual processes acting among human schistosomes show that S. haematobium check for this species in other resources and S. mansoni check for this species in other resources are always competitively dominant over S. intercalatum. These epidemiological observations lead the authors to distinguish three kinds of transmission foci for S. intercalatum.

Schistosoma intercalatum, Schistosoma mansoni, Schistosoma haematobium, taxonomic status, sexual interactions, epidemiology, transmission foci

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