Identification and determination of the geographical distribution of freshwater snails in Lorestan Province, Iran

Document Type: Original Articles

Authors

1 Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran

2 Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran

3 Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran

4 Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Public Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

Abstract

Snails are creatures present in various ecosystems that, in addition to being present in our surroundings, some of them are also important in veterinary medicine and medicine as intermediate hosts of Digenean trematodes. The present study was conducted to identify and determine the geographical distribution of freshwater snails and investigate the relationship of variables such as season and geographical region to snail species and dispersion in Lorestan province in the west of Iran. A total of 4400 samples of freshwater snails were collected using the multi-stage method (stratified, cluster and randomized) from 110 points in five geographical regions in 4 seasons and were then identified based on their morphological characteristics and using diagnostic keys. The ArcGIS software was used to evaluate the spatial distribution of the freshwater snails. In this study, seven species of freshwater snails were identified in six families belonging to six genera, namely Melanopsis doriae (6.30% of the variation in species), Theodoxus doriae (5.55%), Bithynia tentaculata (43.22%, the dominant species), Physa acuta (24.98%), Lymnaea truncatula (9.75%), Gyraulus euphraticus (8.18%) and Lymnaea gedrosiana (2.02%). The geographic distribution of freshwater snails was recorded across five regions in 22 points per region for every season. The spatial distribution maps showed that the distribution of freshwater snails varies with region and season (P<0.001). The results showed the effects of season and geographical region on the distribution and population density of snails in the province. This data can be used for the implementation of control programs against parasitic diseases in the region, including trematodes.

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