a1 Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
Naturally infected Biomphalaria glabrata snails were collected at two sites near Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and Schistosoma mansoni cercariae isolated from single snails were used to infect individual mice. Genetic comparison of single worm DNA was accomplished by hybridization of Southern blots to a polymorphic repetitive DNA element. Genetic profiles of parasite individuals revealed a diverse array of parasite genotypes in naturally infected intermediate hosts. The observed distribution of schistosome genotypes among intermediate hosts indicates that over half of the infected snails harbour multiple miracidia. Snails were more likely to carry multiple infections than expected by chance. This degree of overdispersion combined with high levels of genetic variability facilitates multi-genotype transmission and helps maintain parasite genetic diversity.
(Received November 24 1994)
(Revised January 26 1995)
(Accepted January 26 1995)
p1 Present address: CPRR, FIOCRUZ, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brasil.