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Schistosomes in the Persian Gulf: novel molecular data, host associations, and life-cycle elucidations
Khosravi, M.; Thieltges, D.W.; Shamseddin, J.; Georgieva, S. (2022). Schistosomes in the Persian Gulf: novel molecular data, host associations, and life-cycle elucidations. NPG Scientific Reports 12(1).
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322; e-ISSN 2045-2322, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Khosravi, M.
  • Thieltges, D.W., meer
  • Shamseddin, J.
  • Georgieva, S.


    Avian schistosomes, comprise a diverse and widespread group of trematodes known for their surprising ability to switch into new hosts and habitats. Despite the considerable research attention on avian schistosomes as causatives of the human cercarial dermatitis, less it is known about the diversity, geographical range and host associations of the marine representatives. Our molecular analyses inferred from cox1 and 28SDNA sequence data revealed presence of two schistosome species, Ornithobilharzia canaliculata (Rudolphi, 1819) Odhner, 1912 and a putative new species of Austrobilharzia Johnston, 1917. Molecular elucidation of the life-cycle of O. canaliculata was achieved for the first time via matching novel and published sequence datafrom adult and larval stages. This is the first record of Ornithobilharzia from the Persian Gulf and globally the first record of this genus in a potamidid snail host. Our study provides: (i) new host and distribution records for major etiological agents of cercarial dermatitis and contributes important information on host-parasite relationships; (ii) highlights the importance of the molecular systematics in the assessment of schistosome diversity; and (iii) calls for further surveys to reach a better understanding of the schistosome diversity and patterns of relationships among them, host associations, transmission strategies and distribution coverage.

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