Journal of Biosciences

, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 665–672 | Cite as

Biomphalaria alexandrina in Egypt: Past, present and future

Review

Abstract

The African species of Biomphalaria appeared as a result of the relatively recent west-to-east trans-Atlantic dispersal of the Biomphalaria glabrata-like taxon. In Egypt, Biomphalaria alexandrina is the intermediate host for Schistosoma mansoni. Biomphalaria alexandrina originated in the area between Alexandria and Rosetta and has historically been confined to the Nile Delta. Schistosoma mansoni reached Egypt via infected slaves and baboons from the Land of Punt through migrations that occurred as early as the Vth Dynasty. The suggestion of the presence of Schistosoma mansoni infection in Lower Egypt during Pharaonic times is discussed despite the fact that that there is no evidence of such infection in Egyptian mummies. It is only recently that Biomphalaria alexandrina colonized the Egyptian Nile from the Delta to Lake Nasser. This change was likely due to the construction of huge water projects, the development of new water resources essential for land reclamation projects and the movement of refugees from the Suez Canal zone to the Delta and vice versa. The situation with respect to Biomphalaria in Egypt has become complicated in recent years by the detection of Biomphalaria glabrata and a hybrid between both species; however, follow-up studies have demonstrated the disappearance of such species within Egypt. The National Schistosoma Control Program has made great strides with respect to the eradication of schistosoma; however, there has unfortunately been a reemergence of Schistosoma mansoni resistant to praziquantel. There are numerous factors that may influence the prevalence of snails in Egypt, including the construction of water projects, the increase in reclaimed areas, global climate change and pollution. Thus, continued field studies in addition to the cooperation of several scientists are needed to obtain an accurate representation of the status of this species. In addition, the determination of the genome sequence for Biomphalaria alexandrina and the use of modern technology will allow for the study of the host–parasite relationship at a molecular level.

Keywords

Biomphalaria alexandrina Egypt mummies Nile Delta Pharaonic times Schistosoma mansoni 

References

  1. Abdel-hamid AZ, Rawi SM and Arafa AF 2006 Identification of a genetic marker associated with the resistance to Schistosoma mansoni infection using random amplified polymorphic DNA analysis. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz. 101 863–868PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abdel-Wahab MF, El-Sahly A, Zakariaa S, Strickland GT, El-Kady N and Ahmed L 1979 Changing pattern of schistosomiasis in Egypt 1935–79. Lancet 314 242–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Abdul-Ghani RA, Loutfy N and Hassan A 2009 Experimentally promising antischistosomal drugs: a review of some drug candidates not reaching the clinical use. Parasitol. Res. 105 899–906PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Abou-El-Naga IF, Eissa MM, Mossallam SF and Abd El-Halim SI 2010 Inheritance of Schistosoma mansoni infection incompatibility in Biomphalaria alexandrina snails. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz. 105 149–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Abou-El-Naga IF, El-Nassery SMF, Allam SR, Shaat EA and Mady RFM 2011 Biomphalaria species in Alexandria water channels. Parasitol. Int. 60 247–254PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Abou-El-Naga IF and Radwan EH 2012 Defense response of susceptible and resistant Biomphalaria alexandrina snails against Schistosoma mansoni infection. Rev. Biol. Trop. (Int. J. Trop. Biol.) 60 1195–1204Google Scholar
  7. Adamson PB 1976 Schistosomiasis in antiquity. Med. Hist. 20 176–188PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Appleton CC 1984 Schistosome dermatitis: an unrecognized problem in South Africa? S. Afr. Med. J. 65 467–469PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Bakry FA 2009 Genetic variation between Biomphalaria alexandrina and Biomphalaria glabrata snails and their infection with Egyptian strain of Schistosoma mansoni. J. Appl. Sci. Res. 5 1142–1148Google Scholar
  10. Bakry FA and El Garhy MF 2011 Comparative study of the karyotypes and electrophoretic patterns of Biomphalaria alexandrina and Bulinus truncatus and the ova of their corresponding trematode hosts. J. Evol. Biol. Res. 3 22–28Google Scholar
  11. Bandoni SM, Mulvey M, Koech DK and Loker ES 1990 Genetic structure of Kenyan populations of Biomphalaria phefferi (Gastropoda: Planorbidae). J. Mollus. Stud. 56 383–391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Barakat RA, ElMorshedy H and Fenwick A 2005 Efficacy of Myrrh in the treatment of human Schistosoma mansoni. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 73 365–367Google Scholar
  13. Bilharz TM 1852 A study of human helminthology with brief observations by Bilharz in Cairo, along with remarks by Siebald in Breslau. Z. Wis. Zool. 4 53–66. Quoted from: Webbe G and El Hak S 1990 Progress in the control of schistosomiasis in Egypt 1985–1988. T. Roy. Soc. Trop. Med. H. 84 394–400Google Scholar
  14. Brown DS 1994 Freshwater snails of Africa and their medical importance 2nd edition (London: Taylor and Francis)Google Scholar
  15. Caminos RA 1997 Peasants; in The Egyptians (ed) S Donadoni (Chicago: University of Chicago Press) pp 1–30Google Scholar
  16. Campbell G, Jones CS, Lockyer AE, Hughes S, Brown D, Noble LR and Rollinson D 2000 Molecular evidence supports an African affinity of the neotropical freshwater gastropod, Biomphalaria glabrata, Say 1818, an intermediate host for Schistosoma mansoni. Proc. Biol. Sci. 267 2351–2358PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Coelho PMZ, Carvalho OS, Andrade ZA, Martins-Sousa RL, Rosa FM, Barbosa L, Pereira CAJ, Caldeira RL, et al. 2004 Biomphalaria tenagophila/Schistosoma mansoni interaction: premises for a new approach to biological control of schistosomiasis. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz. 99 109–111Google Scholar
  18. Cowie RH 2001 Can snails ever be effective and safe biocontrol agents? Int. Pest J. Manage. 47 23–40Google Scholar
  19. Cridland CC 1968 Results of exposure of batches from highly susceptible and less susceptible strains of Biomphalaria alexandrina from Egypt to strains of Schistosoma mansoni from Cairo and Alexandria. Bull. World Health Org. 39 955–961Google Scholar
  20. de Gentile L, Picot H, Bourdeau P, Bardet R, Kerjan A, Piriou M, Le Guennic A, Bayssade-Dufour C, et al. 1996 Cercarial dermatitis in Europe: a new public health problem? Bull. World Health Org. 74 159–163PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Deelder AM, Miller RL, De Jonge N and Krijger FW 1990 Detection of schistosome antigen in mummies. Lancet 335 724–725PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. DeJong RJ, Morgan JA, Paraense WL, Pointier JP, Amarista M, Ayeh-Kumi PF, Babiker A, Barbosa CS, et al. 2001 Evolutionary relationships and biogeography of Biomphalaria (Gastropoda: Planorbidae) with implications regarding its role as host of the human blood fluke, Schistosoma mansoni. Mol. Biol. Evol. 18 2225–2239PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Dillon RT Jr, Wethington AR, Rhett JM and Smith TP 2002 Populations of the European freshwater pulmonate Physa acuta are not reproductively isolated from American Physa heterostropha or Physa integra. Invertebr. Biol. 121 226–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Duke L 2008 Schistosomiasis in Ancient Egypt: The ‘AAA’ Debate. The Proceedings of the 17th Annual History of Medicine, pp 77–83Google Scholar
  25. El-Sawy MF, Bassiouny HK, Rashwan A and El-Maghdoub AI 1978 Ambrosia Marihrma (Damsissa) a safe and effective molluscicide in the field. Bull. H.I.P.H. Alex. Univ. 8 307–317Google Scholar
  26. El-Sayed HF, Rizkalla N.H, Mehanna S, Abaza SM and Winch PJ 1995 Prevalence and epidemiology of Schistosoma mansoni and S. haematobium infection in two areas of Egypt recently reclaimed from the desert. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 52 194–198Google Scholar
  27. Frandsen F 1979 Discussion of the relationships between Schistosoma and their intermediate hosts, assessment of the degree of host-parasite compatibility and evaluation of schistosome taxonomy. Z. Parasitenkd 58 275–296PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gautier A 1976 Freshwater mollusks and mammals from Upper Palaeolithic sites near Idfu and Isna; in Prehistory of the Nile Valley (eds) F Wendorf, R Schild and B Issawi (New York: Academic Press) pp 350–364Google Scholar
  29. Ghaliounghui P 1987 The Ebers Papyrus: A new English translation, Commentaries and glossaries (Cairo: Academy of Scientific Research and Technology)Google Scholar
  30. Halawani A, El-Raii F and Sadek G 1958 On the morphology and nomenclature of Biomphalaria alexandrina (Ehrenberg, 1831) versus B. boissyl (Potiez and Michaud, 1838). J. Egypt. Med. Assoc. 41 1–5PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Halioua B and Ziskind B 2005 Medicine in the days of the Pharaohs (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap press of Harvard University press)Google Scholar
  32. Hamdan G 1961 Evolution of irrigation agriculture in Egypt; in A History of Land Use in Arid Regions. Arid Zone Research 17, UNESCO (ed) L Dudley Stamp (New York: Columbia University Press) pp 119–142Google Scholar
  33. Hamed MA 2010 Strategic control of schistosome intermediate host. Asian J. Epidemiol. 3 123–140Google Scholar
  34. Hanington PC, Lun CM, Adema CM and Loker ES 2010 Time series analysis of the transcriptional responses of Biomphalaria glabrata throughout the course of intramolluscan development of Schistosoma mansoni and Echinostoma paraensei. Int. J. Parasitol. 40 819–831Google Scholar
  35. Haroun NH 1996 Differences in susceptibility of Biomphalaria alexandrina to Schistosoma mansoni from Giza and Dakahlia Governorates, Egypt. J. Egypt. Soc. Parasitol. 26 327–335Google Scholar
  36. Ismail M, Metwally A, Farghaly A, Bruce J, Tao LF and Bennett JL 1996 Characterization of Egyptian villages that tolerate high doses of praziquantel. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 55 214–218Google Scholar
  37. Jiang Y, Loker ES and Zhang SM 2006 In vivo and in vitro knockdown of FREP2 gene expression in the snail Biomphalaria glabrata using RNA interference. Dev. Comp. Immunol. 30 855–866PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Jonckheere F 1944 Une maladie égyptienne: L’hematurie parasitaire (Brussels: Fondation Égyptologique Reine Elizabeth)Google Scholar
  39. Kloos H and David R 2002 The paleoepidemiology of schistosomiasis in Ancient Egypt. Human Ecol. Rev. 9 14–25Google Scholar
  40. Kristensen TK, Yousif F and Raahauge P 1999 Molecular characterisation of Biomphalaria spp in Egypt. J. Mollus. Stud. 65 133–136Google Scholar
  41. Kuntz RE and Malakatis GM 1955 Susceptibility studies in schistosomiasis. II. Susceptibility of wild mammals to infection by Schistosoma mansoni in Egypt, with emphasis on rodents. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 4 75–89PubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Leiper RT 1915 Report on the results of the bilharziasis mission in Egypt. Part I. Transmission. J.R. Army Med. Corps. 25 1–55 Quoted from: Sturrock RF 2001 Schistosomiasis epidemiology and control: How did we get here and where should we go? Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz. 96 17–27Google Scholar
  43. Loker ES 2005 Research on the Molluscan Intermediate Hosts for Schistosomiasis: What are the Priorities? Presented to the Scientific Working Group on Schistosomiasis. World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, 14–16 November 2005Google Scholar
  44. Lortet L and Gaillard C 1905 Mammiféres and Momies de singes; in La faune momifiee de l'ancienne Égypte (Band 1), Lyons (ed) Henri Georg, pp 207–238, 239–282 (http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/lortet1905bd1/0244)
  45. Lotfy WM, Dejong RJ, Abdel-kader A and Loker ES 2005 A molecular survey of Biomphalaria in Egypt: is B. glabrata present? Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 73 131–139Google Scholar
  46. Lotfy WM 2009 Human schistosomiasis in Egypt: historical review, assessment of the current picture and prediction of the future trends. J. M. R. I. 30 1–7Google Scholar
  47. Malek EA 1958 Distribution of the intermediate hosts of bilharziasis in relation to hydrography, with special reference to the Nile Basin and the Sudan. Bull. World Health Org. 18 691–734Google Scholar
  48. Mallett JC and Aboul-Ela IA 1979 A new range extension of Biomphalaria alexandrina, the snail intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni in Egypt. Malacol. Rev. 12 91–92Google Scholar
  49. Mehanna S, Rizkalla NH, el-Sayed HF and Winch PJ 1994 Social and economic conditions in two newly reclaimed areas in Egypt: implications for schistosomiasis control strategies. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 97 286–297PubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Mienis HK 1992 Biomphalaria alexandrina from a Neolithic site in Wadi Gibba, Sinai. Soosiana 20 25–27Google Scholar
  51. Mohamed AH, El-Din AT, Mohamed AM and Habib MR 2012 The relationship between genetic variability and the susceptibility of Biomphalaria alexandrina snails to Schistosoma mansoni infection. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz. 107 326–337Google Scholar
  52. Mohamed AM, Sharaf El-Din AT, Mohamed AH and Habib MR 2011 Identification of various Biomphalaria alexandrina strains collected from five Egyptian governorates using RAPD and species-specific PCR techniques. A.J.M.B. 1 17–25Google Scholar
  53. Mulvey M and Vrijenhoek RC 1984 Genetics of Biomphalaria glabrata: linkage analysis and crossing compatibilities among laboratory strains. Malacologia 25 513–524Google Scholar
  54. Nelson GS, Teesdale C and Highton RB 1962 The role of animals as reservoirs of Bilharziasis in Africa; in Ciba Foundation Symposium: Bilharziasis (eds) GEW Wolstenholme and M O'Conner (London: J. & A. Churchill) pp 127–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Newton WL 1952 The inheritance of susceptibility to infection with Schistosoma mansoni in Australorbis glabratus. Exp. Parasitol. 2 242–257Google Scholar
  56. Paull SH and Johnson PTJ 2011 High temperature enhances host pathology in a snail-trematode system: possible consequences of climate change for the emergence of disease. Freshwater Biol. 56 767–778CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Radwan LS 1997 Farmer responses to inefficiencies in the supply and distribution of irrigation requirements in Delta Egypt. Geogr. J. 163 78–92Google Scholar
  58. Roger E, Mitta G, Moné Y, Bouchut A, Rognon A, Grunau C, Boissier J, Théron A, et al. 2008 Molecular determinants of compatibility polymorphism in the Biomphalaria glabrata/Schistosoma mansoni model: new candidates identified by a global comparative proteomics approach. Mol. Biochem. Parasitol. 157 205–216Google Scholar
  59. Rosa FM, Godard ALB, Azevedo V and Coelho PMZ 2005 Biomphalaria tenagophila: dominant character of the resistance to Schistosoma mansoni in descendants of crossbreedings between resistant (Taim, RS) and susceptible (Joinville, SC) strains. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz. 100 19–23Google Scholar
  60. Ruffer MA 1910 Note on the presence of ‘Bilharzia haematobia’ in Egyptian mummies of the twentieth dynasty. Br. Med. J. 1 16PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Samboon LL 1907 Descriptions of some new species of animal parasite. Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 77 282–283Google Scholar
  62. Taha HA and Waked IA 2010 Liver Disease on the Nile: An association since millennia. Nile Liver J. 1 1–6Google Scholar
  63. Vrijenhoek RC and Graven MA 1992 Population-genetics of Egyptian Biomphalaria alexandrina (Gastropoda, Planorbidae). J. Hered. 83 255–261Google Scholar
  64. Watson JM 1958 Ecology and distribution of Bulinus truncatus in the Middle East; with comments on the effect of some human activities in their relationship to the snail host on the incidence of bilharziasis haematobia in the Middle East and Africa. Bull. World Health Org. 18 833–894PubMedGoogle Scholar
  65. Watts S and El Katsha S 1995 Changing environmental conditions in the Nile Delta: Health and policy implications with special reference to schistosomiasis. Int. J. Environ. Health Res. 5 197–212Google Scholar
  66. Wendorf F, Schild R and Said R 1976 The prehistory of the Egyptian Sahara. Science 193 103–104PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Woodruff DS and Mulvey M 1997 Neotropical schistosomiasis: African affinities of the host snail Biomphalaria glabrata (Gastropoda: Planorbidae). Biol. J. Linnean Soc. 60 505–516Google Scholar
  68. Wright CA, Southgate VR and Knowles RJ 1972 What is Schistosoma intercalatum, Fisher, 1934? Trans. R. Soc. Trop. Med. Hyg. 66 28–64Google Scholar
  69. Wright CA, Southgate VR, Van Wijk HB and Moore PJ 1974 Hybrids between Schistosoma haematobium and Schistosoma intercalatum in Cameroon. Trans. R. Soc. Trop. Med. Hyg. 68 413–414Google Scholar
  70. Yousif F, el-Emam M, Abdel Kader A, el-Din AS, el-Hommossany K and Shiff C 1999 Schistosomiasis in newly reclaimed areas in Egypt. 2--Patterns of transmission. J. Egypt. Soc. Parasitol. 29 635–648PubMedGoogle Scholar
  71. Yousif F, el-Emam M, Abdel-Kader A, el-Din AS, el-Hommossany K and Shiff C 1998a Schistosomiasis in newly reclaimed areas in Egypt. 1-distribution and population seasonal fluctuation of intermediate host snails. J. Egypt. Soc. Parasitol. 28 915–928Google Scholar
  72. Yousif F, Ibrahim A and El-Bardicy SN 1998b Compatibility of Biomphalaria alexandrina, Biomphalaria glabrata and a hybrid of both to seven strains of Schistosoma mansoni from Egypt. J. Egypt. Soc. Parasitol. 28 863–881Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Medical Parasitology Department, Faculty of MedicineAlexandria UniversityAlexandriaEgypt

Personalised recommendations