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Competitive exclusion in human schistosomes: the restricted distribution of Schistosoma intercalatum

  • L. A. Tchuem Tchuenté (a1) (a2) (a3), S. Morand (a1), D. Imbert-Establet (a1), B. Delay (a4) and J. Jourdane (a1)...

A study on the immune and mating interactions between Schistosoma intercalatum and S. mansoni has been carried out. The immunologically mediated interactions and mating patterns observed between the two species demonstrate that S. mansoni is competitively dominant over S. intercalatum. When S. mansoni females are absent, S. mansoni males are more competitive than S. intercalatum males at pairing with S. intercalatum females. The use of a mathematical model shows how the abundance of S. mansoni worms per host could dramatically affect the mating probability of S. intercalatum females with their homologous males. It appears that the competitive exclusion between these two species of schistosomes may probably be an important factor restricting the distribution of S. intercalatum in Africa.

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*Corresponding author. Laboratoire de Biologie Animale, Centre de Biologie et d'Ecologie Tropicale et Méditerranéenne, Université, Avenue de Villeneuve, 66860 Perpignan Cedex, France. Tel: +33 68 66 21 82. Fax: + 33 68 66 22 81. E-mail:
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