DNA barcoding of Iranian radicine freshwater snails begins to untangle the taxonomy and phylogeography of intermediate hosts of schistosomiasis and fasciolosis from the Middle East and across Central Asia

Ramtin Mirfendereski, Saeid Hashemi, Saloomeh Shirali, Bahar Shemshadi, Scott P. Lawton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the Middle East Radicine snails of considerable medical and veterinary importance acting as vectors of trematodes. In Iran, such snails are responsible for the transmission of the zoonotic trematodes Schistosoma turkestanicum and Fasciola gigantica. Historically, Radix gedrosiana has been incriminated as an important intermediate host for both trematodes, however, controversy has remains over the snail’s true taxonomic status. This species has been determined using morphological characters that has resulted in erroneous identification of species, affecting understanding of population biology, and ultimately affecting vector incrimination. In this current study DNA barcoding using cox1 and phylogenetic analyses revealed that snails identified as R. gedrosiana from Iran split into two separate species, Radix euphratica and Ampullaceana sp. The cox1 also provided useful insights into the evolutionary history of R. euphratica populations. Phylogeographic analyses indicated that R. euphratica had an Iraqi/Iranian origin approximately 3.3 MYA and exists as a large stable population across the Middle East and Central Asia, and a lack of genetic differentiation between geographical isolates. Such molecular barcoding techniques are crucial for the identification of Radicine snails of Iran being invaluable for the monitoring of zoonotic flukes, understanding the distribution of infection and the accurate incrimination of snail vectors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104728
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
Volume89
Early online date23 Jan 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPrint publication - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • Ampullaceana sp.
  • Iran
  • Middle East
  • Phylogenetics
  • Phylogeography
  • Radix euphratica
  • Radix gedrosiana
  • cox1 barcoding

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