Parasitology Research

, Volume 117, Issue 8, pp 2569–2576 | Cite as

First report of Euryhelmis parasites (Trematoda, Heterophyidae) in Africa: conservation implications for endemic amphibians

  • Jesus Díaz-Rodríguez
  • David Donaire-Barroso
  • Michael J. Jowers
Original Paper


In this study, we report, through molecular identification, the first African records of a digenean trematode parasite of the genus Euryhelmis. We recovered metacercariae encysted in an anuran, the endemic Moroccan painted frog (Discoglossus scovazzi), and a vulnerable caudate, the North African fire salamander (Salamandra algira), from four localities in North Africa (Morocco). Our records go back to the past century and have been confirmed in successive fieldwork seasons thereafter. Metacercarial stages of these parasites require amphibians as the last intermediate host, but the exact identity of the primary hosts and predators of the infected animals in Africa remain unknown. Our searches with basic local alignment search tool (BLAST) from Genbank revealed that hosts were infected by parasites of Euryhelmis costaricensis, which showed almost the same genetic identity (with only one substitution) to previous reports from Costa Rica and Japan, suggesting a recent introduction in Morocco. We proceed to discuss the likely role of introduced mustelids as the potential definitive hosts of trematode adults. Under this assumption, we conclude that the infestation of Discoglossus scovazzi and Salamandra algira might pose a risk to these threatened species.


Metacercaria Euryhelmis Salamandra algira Discoglossus scovazzi Morocco Amphibian conservation 



We are grateful to Tahar Slimani and El Hassan El Mouden for their collaboration.


Joint research project of the Natural History Museum of Braunschweig and the University of Marrakech (BMBF:01DH13015) and former Orde du mission issued to (DD-B.) by the University of Marrakesh Cadi Ayyad.


This project was funded by the International Collaborative Research Grant by the National Institute of Ecology (South Korea) to MJJ and personal funds from DD-B.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jesus Díaz-Rodríguez
    • 1
  • David Donaire-Barroso
    • 2
  • Michael J. Jowers
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.CEI CamBio (Campus de Excelencia Internacional de Medio Ambiente, Biodiversidad y Cambio Global)Universidad Pablo de OlavideSevillaSpain
  2. 2.Calle Mar EgeoCádizSpain
  3. 3.CIBIO/InBIO (Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos)Universidade do PortoVairãoPortugal
  4. 4.National Institute of EcologySeocheon-gunSouth Korea

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