Abstract

Despite the large number of reports of species of Clinostomum from vertebrate hosts in South America, studies evaluating the molluscan transmitters of these parasites are scarce. In the present study, clinostomatoid cercariae shed from 0.02% (4/17,485) specimens of Biomphalaria spp., collected at the Pampulha reservoir, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, were used for experimental infection of Poecilia reticulata. Samples of cercariae from molluscs and metacercariae experimentally obtained from fish were subjected to morphological and molecular analyses and compared with species of Clinostomum reported in the Americas. The cercariae and metacercariae, here identified as Clinostomum sp., present general morphology similar to that reported for Clinostomum marginatum, however, from molecular point of view, differ significantly from North American C. marginatum and other species of Clinostomum reported in South America. These results suggest that the diversity of Clinostomum found in Brazil may be underestimated. Additional studies aimed at molecular characterization of South American species of Clinostomum, including the finding of specimens with sequences similar to that reported for C. marginatum in North America are required.

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