Original Article

Molecular, Morphological, and Spatial Study of Galba schirazensis (Pulmonata, Lymnaeidae) from Southeastern Iran


Background: Snails of the genus Galba are the intermediate hosts of Fasciola species, the etiological agents of liver fluke disease, fascioliasis. A genetically different but morphologically very similar species in the genus, G. schirazensis, is sympatrically distributed with G. truncatula in some regions of the world. We aimed to investigate the occurrence of G. schirazensis in Kerman province, Iran and to characterize genetically G. schirazensis specimens from southeast Iran.

Methods: Field-collected snails from four localities in Jiroft, Bam and Faryab, Kerman province, southeastern Iran were studied. Hydrological variables including temperature and pH were recorded for each habitat. Each specimen was identified using morphological as well as conchological characteristics. Genetic characterization was performed using PCR-sequencing followed by phylogenetic analyses on nuclear ITS2 as well as mitochondrial cox1 gene fragments. MaxEnt software was used to predict the most appropriate ecological niches for the targeted species.

Results: G. schirazensis was found in 4 out of 28 locations. One ITS2 and two cox1 haplotypes were detected among G. schirazensis populations from the four localities. Habitat study showed that G. schirazensis thrives in habitats with alkaline pH. G.schirazensis from South America were clustered with specimens from Bam, Kerman, Iran; however, north Iranian isolates of G. schirazensis were strongly correlated with specimens from Jiroft and Faryab. MaxEnt model for the most appropriate ecological niches of the targeted species predicted environmental suitability for this species in western Africa as well as coastal areas in north and southwestern Africa.

Conclusion: G. schirazensis is frequently present in southern areas of Kerman Province. At least two genetically different haplotypes are present in southeastern Iran.

1. Alda P, Lounnas M, Vázquez AA, et al. A new multiplex PCR assay to distinguish among three cryptic Galba species, intermediate hosts of Fasciola hepatica. Vet Parasitol. 2018;251:101–5.
2. Lounnas M, Correa AC, Alda P, et al. Population structure and genetic diversity in the invasive freshwater snail Galba schirazensis (Lymnaeidae). Can J Zool. 2018;96(5):425–35.
3. Caron Y, Celi-Erazo M, Hurtrez-Boussès S, et al. Is Galba schirazensis (Mollusca, Gastropoda) an intermediate host of Fasciola hepatica (Trematoda, Digenea) in Ecuador? Parasite. 2017;24:24.
4. Bargues MD, Artigas P, Khoubbane M, et al. Lymnaea schirazensis, an Overlooked Snail Distorting Fascioliasis Data: Genotype, Phenotype, Ecology, Worldwide Spread, Susceptibility, Applicability. Braga EM, editor. PLoS One. 2011;6(9): e24567.
5. Massoud J, Sadjadi S. Susceptibility of different species of Lymnaea snails to miracidia of Fasciola gigantica and F. hepatica in Iran. J Helminthol. 1980;54(3):201–2.
6. Glöer P, Pešić V. The freshwater snails (Gastropoda) of Iran, with descriptions of two new genera and eight new species. Zookeys. 2012;(219):11–61.
7. Correa AC, Escobar JS, Noya O, et al. Morphological and molecular characterization of Neotropic Lymnaeidae (Gastropoda: Lymnaeoidea), vectors of fasciolosis. Infect Genet Evol. 2011;11(8):1978–88.
8. AK Sangwana, B Jacksonb, W Glanville, et al. Spatial analysis and identification of environmental risk factors affecting the distribution of Indoplanorbis and Lymnaea species in semi-arid and irrigated areas of Haryana, India A.K. Parasite Epidemiol Control. 2016;1(3):252–62.
9. Yigezu G, Mandefro B, Mengesha Y, et al. Habitat suitability modelling for predicting potential habitats of freshwater snail intermediate hosts in Omo-Gibe river basin, Southwest Ethiopia. Ecol Inform. 2018;45:70–80.
10. Githeko AK, Lindsay SW, Climate change and vector-borne diseases: a regional analysis.Bull World Health Organ. 2000;78(9):1136–47.
11. Johns TC, Gregory JM, Ingram WJ, et al. Anthropogenic climate change for 1860 to 2100 simulated with the HadCM3 model under updated emissions scenarios. Clim Dyn. 2003;20(6):583–612.
12. Mas-Coma S, Valero MA, Bargues MD. Fasciola, Lymnaeids and Human Fascioliasis, with a Global Overview on Disease Transmission, Epidemiology, Evolutionary Genetics, Molecular Epidemiology and Control. Adv Parasitol. 2009;69:41–146.
13. Ashrafi K, Saadat F, O’Neill S, et al. The Endemicity of Human Fascioliasis in Guilan Province, Northern Iran: the Baseline for Implementation of Control Strategies. Iran J Public Health. 2015;44(4):501-11.
14. Salahi-Moghaddam A, Arfaa F. Epidemiology of Human Fascioliasis Outbreaks in Iran. J Arch Mil Med. 2013;1(1):6–12.
15. Massiud J. Fascioliasis outbreak of man and drug test (Triclabendazol) in Caspian littoral, northern part of Iran, 1989. Bull LA Soc Fr Parasitol. 1989;8:438.
16. Almeyda-Artigas RJ, Bargues MD, Mas-Coma S. ITS-2 rDNA Sequencing of Gnathostoma Species (Nematoda) and Elucidation of the Species Causing Human Gnathostomiasis in the Americas. J Parasitol. 2006;86(3):537-44.
17. Folmer O, Black M, Hoeh W, et al. DNA primers for amplification of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I from diverse metazoan invertebrates. Mol Mar Biol Biotechnol. 1994;3(5):294–9.
18. Kimura M. A simple method for estimating evolutionary rates of base substitutions through comparative studies of nucleotide sequences. J Mol Evol. 1980;16(2):111–20.
19. Phillips SB, Aneja VP, Kang D, et al. Modelling and analysis of the atmospheric nitrogen deposition in North Carolina. Int J Glob Environ Issues. 2006;6(2–3):231–52.
20. Howell A, Mugisha L, Davies J, et al. Bovine fasciolosis at increasing altitudes: Parasitological and malacological sampling on the slopes of Mount Elgon, Uganda. Parasit Vectors. 2012;5:196.
21. Mas-Coma S, Funatsu IR, Bargues MD. Fasciola hepatica and lymnaeid snails occurring at very high altitude in South America. Parasitology. 2001;123 Suppl:S115-27.
22. Ashrafi K, Massoud J, Naieni KH, et al. Nuclear ribosomal DNA ITS-2 sequence characterization of Fasciola hepatica and Galba truncatula. Iran J Public Health. 2007;36(4):42–9.
23. Fuentes M V, Valero MA, Bargues MD, et al. Analysis of climatic data and forecast indices for human fascioliasis at very high altitude. Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 1999;93(8):835–50.
24. Imani Baran Abbas, Yakhchali M. Mvr. A study on geographical distribution and diversity of Lymnaeidae snails in West Azerbaijan Province Iran. Vet Res Biol Prod. 2011;24(4):53–63.
25. Relf V, Good B, Hanrahan JP, et al. Temporal studies on Fasciola hepatica in Galba truncatula in the west of Ireland. Vet Parasitol. 2011;175(3-4):287–92.
26. Mera y Sierra R, Artigas P, Cuervo P, et al. Fascioliasis transmission by Lymnaea neotropica confirmed by nuclear rDNA and mtDNA sequencing in Argentina. Vet Parasitol. 2009;166(1-2):73–9.
27. Camara IA, Bony YK, Diomandé D, et al. Freshwater snail distribution related to environmental factors in Banco National Park, an urban reserve in the Ivory Coast (West Africa). Afr Zool. 2012;47(1):160–8.
IssueVol 16 No 1 (2021) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/ijpa.v16i1.5511
Galba schirazensis Modeling Phylogenetic study Geographic infor-mation system Iran

Rights and permissions
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
How to Cite
NASIBI S, SALAHI MOGHADDAM A, ZIAALI N, AKHLAGHI E, MOHAMMADI MA, HANAFI-BOJD AA, FASIHI HARANDI M. Molecular, Morphological, and Spatial Study of Galba schirazensis (Pulmonata, Lymnaeidae) from Southeastern Iran. Iran J Parasitol. 16(1):52-63.