Distribution of trematodes in snails in ponds at integrated small-scale aquaculture farms

Annette S. Boerlage, Elisabeth A.M. Graat, Johan A. Verreth, Mart C.M. de Jong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


In integrated small-scale aquaculture farming, animal and human excreta maybe used as fish feed and pond fertilizer, thereby enhancing transmission of fish-borne zoonotic trematodes (FZTs) from final hosts, like humans, pigs and chickens, to snails. Areas within a pond could vary in trematode egg-load due to the immediate bordering land, and this might provide implications for control of these trematodes or sampling in field studies measuring FZT prevalence in snails. We therefore estimated the effect of bordering land use on prevalence and FZT burden in snails in different areas within small-scale aquaculture ponds. Nine sampling areas within a pond were assigned in six ponds. For each sampling area, about 120 Melanoides tuberculata snails were collected. Based on land use bordering a sampling area, these were categorized in 5 risk-categories: low-risk (road, rice planted in pond, agriculture, or middle of pond), human access point to pond, livestock sty (pigs or poultry), both human access point and livestock sty, and water connection to canal. In total, 5392 snails were collected. Percentages of snails with parapleurolophocercous cercariae varied between 6% in areas categorized as low-risk and areas with livestock sty only to 15% in areas with both human access point and livestock sty; only this 15% was significantly different from the prevalence in the low-risk category. Percentages of snails with xiphidio cercariae did not differ between risk-categories and varied between 5% and 10%. Mean snail size was 15.2 mm, and was significantly associated with both the probability of infection as well as parasite burden. Very small differences in parasite burden were found at different land use areas; the maximum difference was about 11 cercariae. This study demonstrated only small differences between areas surrounding a pond on risk of snails to be infected with fish-borne trematodes within different pond areas. In field studies on FZTs in M. tuberculata snails in ponds, sampling from ponds can therefore be done without considering areas within ponds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-281
JournalActa Tropica
Issue number3
Publication statusPrint publication - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


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