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vol.93 suppl.1Schistosomiasis vaccine development: progress and prospectsMolecular characterisation of intermediate snail hosts and the search for resistance genes author indexsubject indexarticles search
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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276On-line version ISSN 1678-8060


VIDIGAL, Teofânia HDA et al. Genetic variability and identification of the intermediate snail hosts of Schistosoma mansoni. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz [online]. 1998, vol.93, suppl.1, pp.103-110. ISSN 0074-0276.

Studies based on shell or reproductive organ morphology and genetic considerations suggest extensive intraspecific variation in Biomphalaria snails. The high variability at the morphological and genetic levels, as well as the small size of some specimens and similarities between species complicate the correct identification of these snails. Here we review our work using methods based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification for analysis of genetic variation and identification of Biomphalaria snails from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. Arbitrarily primed-PCR revealed that the genome of B. glabrata exihibits a remarkable degree of intraespecific polymorphism. Low stringency-PCR using primers for 18S rRNA permited the identification of B. glabrata, B. tenagophila and B. occidentalis. The study of individuals obtained from geographically distinct populations exhibits significant intraspecific DNA polymorphism, however specimens from the same species, exhibit some species specific LSPs. We also showed that PCR-restriction fragment of length polymorphism of the internal transcribed spacer region of Biomphalaria rDNA, using DdeI permits the differentiation of the three intermediate hosts of Schistosoma mansoni. The molecular biological techniques used in our studies are very useful for the generation of new knowledge concerning the systematics and population genetics of Biomphalaria snails.

Keywords : Biomphalaria; snails; genetic variability; identification; polymerase chain reaction.

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