Reconstructing colonization dynamics of the human parasite Schistosoma mansoni following anthropogenic environmental changes in northwest Senegal

Van den Broeck, Frederik, Maes, Gregory E., Larmuseau, Maarten H.D., Rollinson, David, Sy, Ibrahima, Faye, Djibril, Volckaert, Filip A.M., Polman, Katja, and Huyse, Tine (2015) Reconstructing colonization dynamics of the human parasite Schistosoma mansoni following anthropogenic environmental changes in northwest Senegal. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 9 (8). e0003998. pp. 1-21.

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Schistosoma parasites successfully colonize new regions following the construction of water schemes for power production or agricultural purposes. Here we investigated the colonization history of the human parasite Schistosoma mansoni in Northwest Senegal following the construction of two dams in the `80s. Parasites were collected at several time points following the disease outbreak and their genetic profile was characterized using molecular markers. Our results showed that many genetically different parasites must have been introduced at the onset of the epidemic, which complies with the extensive immigration of infected seasonal agricultural workers from neighboring regions in Senegal, Mauritania and Mali. Furthermore, we showed that parasite transmission occurred over a large geographic distance, which implies that new alleles, like resistance alleles, could spread rapidly in this system. These new insights demonstrate how colonization following anthropogenic environmental changes may lead to genetically diverse parasite populations within a short time span. High genetic diversity is often linked with a stronger potential to cope with selective pressures such as drug treatment, which may complicate efforts to control the disease.

Item ID: 40078
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1935-2735
Keywords: phylogeography, Senegal, Schistosoma mansoni, haplotypes, population genetics, Mali, microsatellite, loci, parasitic diseases
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© 2015 Van den Broeck et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funders: Flemish Interuniversity Council, Research Foundation-Flanders (RFF)
Projects and Grants: RFF grant number 1.2.668.11.N.01, RFF grant number 12E2315N, RFF Research Grant number G.0552.10
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2015 23:28
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060411 Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics @ 70%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences > 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960807 Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 30%
92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920599 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) not elsewhere classified @ 70%
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