Biomphalaria glabrata

Biomphalaria glabrata

Freshwater snails of the genus Biomphalaria are intermediate hosts for flatworm parasites of the genus Schistosoma, causative pathogens of human schistosomiasis, in South America, the Greater and Lesser Antilles, Africa, Madagascar and the Arabian peninsula. Biomphalaria glabrata, a neotropical snail, is the major intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni.

Patently infected B. glabrata snails shed and seed their aquatic environment with numerous free-swimming cercariae, the stage of S. mansoni that is infective for humans. Water contact leads to infection because cercariae can actively penetrate human skin. Inside the human host, schistosome parasites mature and reproduce sexually. Parasite eggs are released in the feces and/or urine of infected humans. Parasite larvae called miracidia hatch from the eggs and swim to locate and infect B. glabrata for completion of the S. mansoni life cycle.

Community contact: 
Coen Adema

Strains, genome assemblies and gene sets

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