Molecular and morphological identification of digeneans from Lymnaeidae in the UK

Enabulele, Egie Elisha (2016) Molecular and morphological identification of digeneans from Lymnaeidae in the UK. (PhD thesis), Kingston University, .


Many parasitic digeneans are of medical and veterinary importance and therefore developing methods to accurately identify them and understand their evolutionary epidemiology is crucial to disease diagnosis, surveillance and control. An integrative approach using molecular and morphological data was applied in investigating digenean species transmitted by lymnaeid snails in the UK. Radix auricularia, R. balthica, Lymnaea stagnalis and Stagnicola fuscus were identified by DNA sequencing of the ITS2 and cox1 genes. They were recorded to transmit a total of 13 digenean species belonging to six families. The parasites were identified by sequencing appropriate nuclear and mitochondrial genetic markers and were morphologically described. The study presents the first molecular identification of Diplostomum pseudospathaceum and Tylodelphys clavata (Diplostomatidae), Cotylurus brevis (Strigeidae), Plagiorchis maculosus (Plagiorchiidae), Trichobilharzia szidati (Schistosomatidae), Echinostoma revolutum, Echinoparyphium aconiatum, and Hypoderaeum conoideum (Echinostomatidae) from the UK. Australapatemon sp. (Strigeidae) and Echinoparyphium sp. could only be identified to genus level and require further investigation. Trichobilharzia franki was molecularly identified for the first time from Scotland. Echinoparyphium recurvatum and Lecithodendrium linstowi (Lecithodendriidae) were molecularly identified for the second time in the UK. Trichobilharzia species are causative agents of human cercarial dermatitis which is currently regarded as a re-emerging disease in Europe and E. revolutum, Ep. recurvatum and H. conoideum are zoonotic agents of echinostomiasis. Diplostomum pseudospathaceum and T. clavata cause diplostomiasis in aquaculture. The cercaria of the bat trematode L. linstowi is described for the first time and its molluscan host identified as R. balthica.

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