Evolutionary relationships among the schistosomatidae (Platyhelminthes

Digenea) and an Asian origin for Schistosoma

Scott D Snyder, Eric S. Loker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

91 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Schistosome blood flukes parasitize birds, mammals, and crocodilians and are responsible for causing one of the great neglected diseases of humanity, schistosomiasis. A phylogenetic study of 10 schistosome genera using approximately 1,100 bases of the large subunit of the nuclear ribosomal gene complex revealed 2 major clades. One clade is entirely mammalian and includes the genera Schistosoma and Orientobilharzia. A close examination of relationships in this group suggests that the medically important Schistosoma arose in Asia and not in Africa as generally presumed and is paraphyletic. The second clade is primarily avian, consisting of 6 genera of exclusively avian parasites and 2 genera of North American mammal flukes. These results indicate a secondary host capture of mammals on the North American continent. This study provides little evidence concerning the ancestral molluscan or vertebrate schistosome host but does demonstrate that host switching has been an important feature of schistosome evolution. Evidence also indicates that the reduced sexual dimorphism characteristic of some avian schistosomes is derived evolutionarily.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-288
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Parasitology
Volume86
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2000

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Schistosomatidae
Schistosoma
Digenea (Trematoda)
Platyhelminthes
Mammals
Trematoda
mammal
Large Ribosome Subunits
Neglected Diseases
schistosomiasis
Schistosomiasis
sexual dimorphism
Sex Characteristics
mammals
Birds
Vertebrates
parasite
Parasites
vertebrate
blood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology

Cite this

Evolutionary relationships among the schistosomatidae (Platyhelminthes : Digenea) and an Asian origin for Schistosoma. / Snyder, Scott D; Loker, Eric S.

In: Journal of Parasitology, Vol. 86, No. 2, 01.04.2000, p. 283-288.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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