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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. 67-74
Bioline Code: oc01153
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Vol. 96, No. s1, 2001, pp. 67-74

 en Invading Freshwater Snails and Biological Control in Martinique Island, French West Indies
Jean-Pierre Pointier

Abstract

Eight alien freshwater snail species were introduced into Martinique Island during the last 50 years. The introduced snails include four planorbids ( Biomphalaria straminea check for this species in other resources , Helisoma duryi check for this species in other resources , Amerianna carinata check for this species in other resources and Gyraulus sp. check for this species in other resources ), three thiarids ( Melanoides tuberculata check for this species in other resources , M. amabilis check for this species in other resources and Tarebia granifera check for this species in other resources ) and one ampullarid ( Marisa cornuarietis check for this species in other resources ). Four of these species rapidly colonized the whole Martinican hydrographic system whereas the other four remained restricted to some particular sites. The invasion processes were documented during the last 20 years and showed (i) a rapid invasion of the island by several morphs of M. tuberculata at the beginning of the 80's; (ii) the introduction of T. granifera in 1991 and M. amabilis in 1997; and (iii) the rapid spread of these last two species throughout the island. In the years following its introduction, M. tuberculata was used in biological control experiments against the snail hosts of schistosomiasis, B. glabrata check for this species in other resources and B. straminea. Experiments were conducted with success in several groups of water-cress beds which constituted the latest transmission sites for schistosomiasis at the beginning of the 80's. A malacological survey carried out in 2000 all over the island showed the absence of B. glabrata but the presence of some residual populations of B. straminea. Long-term studies carried out in Martinique have shown that the thiarids are able to maintain relatively stable populations over a long period of time, thus preventing recolonization by the snail hosts. Within this context the invasion of the hydrographic system of Martinique by thiarid snails has resulted in an efficient and sustainable control of the intermediate hosts of schistosomiasis.

Keywords
invading snails, biological control, Melanoides tuberculata, Melanoides amabilis, Tarebia granifera, Biomphalaria glabrata, Biomphalaria straminea, Martinique

 
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