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Genetic analysis of cercarial emergence rhythms ofSchistosoma mansoni

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Using two chronobiological variants ofSchistosoma mansoni (a blood fluke infecting man) from Guadeloupe (French West Indies), we carried out experimental crossbreeding between schistosomes with an early and those with a late cercarial shedding pattern. The results obtained on the F1 (intermediate shedding patterns) and F2 generations (early, intermediate, and late patterns) demonstrate that the cercarial emergence rhythms of schistosomes are genetically determined. This genetic variability is interpreted as a consequence of the selective pressure exerted by the two different hosts (man and rat) implicated in the life cycle ofS. mansoni from the Guadeloupean focus of schistosomiasis.

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This work received financial support from the UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases and the CNRS.

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Théron, A., Combes, C. Genetic analysis of cercarial emergence rhythms ofSchistosoma mansoni . Behav Genet 18, 201–209 (1988).

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