Prevalence of Infection of Biomphalaria glabrata by Schistosoma mansoni and the risk of urban Schistosomiasis mansoni in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Abstract INTRODUCTION: Biomphalaria glabrata is considered to be responsible for the incidence of schistosomiasis in Brazil. Therefore, surveillance of areas where schistosomiasis is prevalent is fundamental for public health planning. This study was aimed to evaluate B. glabrata populations in water bodies of the city of Salvador, determine their distribution, estimate the prevalence of Schistosoma mansoni infections, characterize shed cercariae, and identify transmission foci. METHODS: Malacological surveys were carried out in 17 water collections from Salvador. Snail species were identified based on shell and mantle characteristics. Snails were evaluated for S. mansoni infection by exposure to light and via real time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) using S. mansoni-18S rRNA subunit specific primers. RESULTS: 1,403 B. glabrata were collected. Classical cercarial shedding indicated that 5 snails (0.4%) were positive for S. mansoni. A higher prevalence of infections was found in Horta de Saramandaia (5.5%) and Lagoa do IAT (1.9%). Non-Schistosoma larvae, such as Xiphidiocercaria, Strigeidae, Spirorchiidae and Clinostomidae, were observed in 3.2% of the snails. S. mansoni DNA was detected in 6.2% snails via qPCR. CONCLUSIONS: B. glabrata is widely distributed in Salvador, as indicated by 7 water collections associated with a risk of schistosomiasis transmission. To our knowledge, this is the first study to identify B. glabrata eliminating cercariae of Clinostomidae, Strigeidae, and Spirorchiidae in Salvador. We propose that qPCR may be employed in combination with classical cercarial shedding. Estimating S. mansoni prevalence in snails by only considering the results of light exposure method classical into account may underestimate the problem.