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Morphological characterization and molecular phylogeny of zoonotic trematodes in the freshwater snail Asolene platae

  • Federico A. Dellagnola (a1) (a2) (a3), Martín M. Montes (a4), Sergio R. Martorelli (a4) and Israel A. Vega (a1) (a2) (a3)


In the context of a broader program dealing with the symbiotic associations of apple snails, we sampled three species that coexist in Lake Regatas (Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina). The population of Asolene platae, (but not those of Pomacea canaliculata and Pomacea scalaris) showed trematode larvae (echinocercariae and xiphidiocercariae) in haemocoelic spaces and connective tissue of the digestive gland. The echinocercariae resembled those of the genus Echinochasmus, but lacked sensory hairs on their body and tail; whereas xiphidiocercariae were similar to the xiphidiocercariae armatae belonging to the Opisthoglyphe type. The phylogenetical positions of these trematodes were inferred by the 28S rRNA, ITS1 and mtCOXI gene sequences. The 28S rRNA gene linked the echinocercarial sequences with the polyphyletic genus Echinochasmus (Echinochasmidae), while the xiphidiocercarial sequences were linked with the genus Phaneropsolus (Phaneropsolidae). The molecular markers used were able to distinguish two cryptic molecular entities of the single echinocercarial morphotype. Although ITS1 and mtCOXI did not allow resolving phylogeny beyond the family level because of the scarce number of sequences in the molecular databases, both cercariae (echinocercariae and xiphidiocercariae) could be distinguished by the Internal Transcribed Spacer 1 amplicon size. This is the first correlative morphological and molecular study of zoonotic trematodes in Neotropical ampullariids.


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Author for correspondence: Israel A. Vega, E-mail:


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Morphological characterization and molecular phylogeny of zoonotic trematodes in the freshwater snail Asolene platae

  • Federico A. Dellagnola (a1) (a2) (a3), Martín M. Montes (a4), Sergio R. Martorelli (a4) and Israel A. Vega (a1) (a2) (a3)


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