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Pseudosuccinea columella is considered invasive and has become an important intermediate host of both Fasciola species in many regions of the world. This systematic review assessed the geographical distribution of P. columella, and its implications in the transmission of Fasciola hepatica and Fasciola gigantica, globally. A literature search was conducted on Google Scholar, JSTOR and PubMed databases using Boolean operators in combination with predetermined search terms for thematic analysis. Results show that P. columella has been documented in 22 countries from Europe (3), Africa (8), Oceania (2), North America (3) and South America (6). Furthermore, this snail species has shown to adapt to and inhabit a vast array of freshwater bodies including thermal lakes and ditches with acidic soils. Studies showed that P. columella transmits F. hepatica, with natural and experimental infections documented in sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, South America and North America. Experimental infection studies in Cuba showed the presence of P. columella populations resistant to F. hepatica infection. Furthermore, some populations of this invasive snail collected from F. hepatica endemic locations in Brazil, Venezuela, Australia, South Africa, Colombia and Argentina were found without Fasciola infection. As a result, the role played by this snail in the transmission of Fasciola spp. in these endemic areas is still uncertain. Therefore, further studies to detect natural infections are needed in regions/countries where the snail is deemed invasive to better understand the veterinary and public health importance of this snail species in Fasciola-endemic areas and determine the global dispersion of resistant populations of P. columella.


P I Ngcamphalala, M P Malatji, S Mukaratirwa. Geography and ecology of invasive Pseudosuccinea columella (Gastropoda: Lymnaeidae) and implications in the transmission of Fasciola species (Digenea: Fasciolidae) - a review. Journal of helminthology. 2022 Jan 07;96:e1

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PMID: 34991739

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