Lack of molluscan host diversity and the transmission of an emerging parasitic disease in Bolivia

Authors

  • C. Meunier,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre d’Etude sur le Polymorphisme des Micro-organismes (UMR CNRS-IRD 9926), Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, 911 Avenue Agropolis, F-34000 Montpellier Cedex 1, France,
    Search for more papers by this author
  • C. Tirard,,

    1. Laboratoire Fonctionnement et Evolution des Systèmes Ecologiques, Université Paris VI, Paris, France,
    Search for more papers by this author
  • S. Hurtrez-Boussès,

    1. Centre d’Etude sur le Polymorphisme des Micro-organismes (UMR CNRS-IRD 9926), Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, 911 Avenue Agropolis, F-34000 Montpellier Cedex 1, France,
    Search for more papers by this author
  • P. Durand,

    1. Laboratoire Fonctionnement et Evolution des Systèmes Ecologiques, Université Paris VI, Paris, France,
    Search for more papers by this author
  • M. D. Bargues,

    1. Departamento de Parasitologia, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Valencia, Valencia, Spain,
    Search for more papers by this author
  • S. Mas-Coma,

    1. Departamento de Parasitologia, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Valencia, Valencia, Spain,
    Search for more papers by this author
  • J. P. Pointier,

    1. Centre de Biologie Tropicale et Méditerranéenne (UMR CNRS 5555), Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Université de Perpignan, Perpignan, France
    Search for more papers by this author
  • J. Jourdane,

    1. Centre de Biologie Tropicale et Méditerranéenne (UMR CNRS 5555), Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Université de Perpignan, Perpignan, France
    Search for more papers by this author
  • F. Renaud

    1. Centre d’Etude sur le Polymorphisme des Micro-organismes (UMR CNRS-IRD 9926), Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, 911 Avenue Agropolis, F-34000 Montpellier Cedex 1, France,
    Search for more papers by this author

C. Meunier. Fax: 33 4 67 41 62 99; E-mail:cmeunier@cepm.mpl.ird.fr

Abstract

Fasciolosis is a re-emerging parasitic disease that affects an increasing number of people in developing countries. The most severe endemic affects the Bolivian Altiplano, where the liver fluke (Fasciola hepatica) and its hermaphroditic snail host, Lymnaea truncatula, have been introduced from Europe. To achieve a better understanding of the epidemiological situation and the consequences of the colonization event of this invasive species, genetic analysis of Bolivian snail populations was needed. Here we compare the genetic diversity and population structure of snail samples from the Bolivian Altiplano with samples from the Old World at six polymorphic microsatellite loci. Whereas some variability exists in the snail populations from the Old World, we observe only a single genotype of L. truncatula in the Bolivian Altiplano. We discuss the possible explanations for such a reduction in genetic variability, and, given the high natural parasitism pressures exerted on the snail populations, we discuss the relevance of this result for host–parasite interactions.

Ancillary