Trematodes and snails: an intimate association

A. E. Lockyer, Catherine Sue Jones, Leslie Robert Noble, D. Rollinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Trematode parasites share an intimate relationship with their gastropod intermediate hosts, which act as the vehicle for their development and transmission. They represent an enormous economic and medical burden in developing countries, stimulating much study of snail-trematode interactions. Laboratory-maintained snail-trematode systems and in vitro cell cultures are being used to investigate the molecular dialogue between host and parasite. These dynamic and finely balanced antagonistic relationships, in which parasites strongly influence the physiology of the host, are highly specific and may occasionally demonstrate co-speciation. We consider the mechanisms and responses deployed by trematodes and snails that result in compatibility or rejection of the parasite, and the macroevolutionary implications that they may effect. Although for gastropods the fossil record gives some insight into evolutionary history, elucidation of trematode evolution must rely largely upon molecular approaches, and for both, such techniques have provided fresh and often surprising evidence of their origins and dispersal over time. Co-evolution of snails and trematodes is becoming increasingly apparent at both cellular and population levels; the implications of which are only beginning to be understood for disease control. Untangling the complex interactions of trematodes and snails promise fresh opportunities for intervention to relieve the burden of parasitic disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-269
Number of pages18
JournalCanadian Journal Of Zoology/Revue Canadien De Zoologie
Volume82
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Keywords

  • FRESH-WATER SNAIL
  • SCHISTOSOMA-MANSONI SPOROCYSTS
  • BIOMPHALARIA-GLABRATA SNAILS
  • MYTILUS-GALLOPROVINCIALIS HEMOCYTES
  • EXCRETORY-SECRETORY PRODUCTS
  • HOST-PARASITE INTERACTIONS
  • ECHINOSTOMA-PARAENSEI SPOROCYSTS
  • BULINUS-FORSKALII GROUP
  • EMBRYONIC-CELL LINE
  • HUMAN BLOOD FLUKE

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