Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Parasitic Worm May Be More Widespread Than Previously Thought

Date:
March 21, 2008
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
A new genetic analysis suggests that the parasitic worm Schistosoma mekongi is more widespread than previously thought. According to the study, the human population at risk of infection could be up to 10 times greater than previously estimated. Furthermore, it posits an increased possibility of the spread of the parasite across Laos and Vietnam.

A new genetic analysis suggests that the parasitic worm Schistosoma mekongi is more widespread than previously thought. According to the study, the human population at risk of infection could be up to 10 times greater than previously estimated. Furthermore, it posits an increased possibility of the spread of the parasite across Laos and Vietnam.

Related Articles


Schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease which affects over 200 million people worldwide, is caused by several flatworm species of the genus Schistosoma. In the Mekong River basin in South-East Asia, the disease is transmitted by the species Schistosoma mekongi. A mass treatment program in the mid-1990s greatly reduced the prevalence of the disease and encouraged optimism regarding the control of S. mekongi infection. However, based on the implications of this new study, the control of Mekong schistosomiasis could be problematic.

Researchers Stephen W. Attwood of China's Sichuan University, Farrah A. Fatih of London's Natural History Museum, and E. Suchart Upatham of Thailand's Mahidol University analyzed DNA sequences of sample organisms collected from the Mekong river and its tributaries in Cambodia, Laos and Malaysia. They found, contrary to the previously held belief that S. mekongi is confined to a small section of the lower Mekong River, that organisms collected in its tributaries across Cambodia were also of the species S. mekongi. The range of the snail intermediate host and the ecological conditions for potential transmission were also shown to be much broader than once thought.

Prior to this study it was also assumed that S. mekongi originated in Yunnan, China, migrated southwards across Laos and into Cambodia, and later became extinct in Laos due to conditions unsuitable for transmission. However, Attwood and colleagues' analysis suggested a more recent, and ongoing, migration northwards from Vietnam, towards Cambodia and Laos.

According to the authors, further work is required into this problem, as, if we have no reason to assume that ecological conditions in Laos are unsuitable for transmission, we may expect the future spread of this disease northwards into Laos.

Journal reference: Attwood SW, Fatih FA, Upatham ES (2008) DNA-Sequence Variation Among Schistosoma mekongi Populations and Related Taxa; Phylogeography and the Current Distribution of Asian Schistosomiasis. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2(3): e200. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000200


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Parasitic Worm May Be More Widespread Than Previously Thought." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080319085411.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2008, March 21). Parasitic Worm May Be More Widespread Than Previously Thought. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080319085411.htm
Public Library of Science. "Parasitic Worm May Be More Widespread Than Previously Thought." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080319085411.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Galapagos Tortoises Bounce Back, But Ecosystem Lags

Galapagos Tortoises Bounce Back, But Ecosystem Lags

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) The Galapagos tortoise has made a stupendous recovery from the brink of extinction to a population of more than 1,000. But it still faces threats. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Oatmeal Healthy Recipes and Benefits

Oatmeal Healthy Recipes and Benefits

Buzz60 (Oct. 29, 2014) Oatmeal is a fantastic way to start your day. Whichever way you prepare them, oats provide your body with many health benefits. In celebration of National Oatmeal Day, Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has a few recipe ideas, and tips on how to kickstart your day with this wholesome snack! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins