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.

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 September 1, 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 September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) An animal rescue in Washington state receives an influx of orphaned squirrels, keeping workers busy as they nurse them back to health. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) In a new study, a promising experimental treatment for Ebola managed to cure a group of infected macaque monkeys. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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