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Terrestrial Snail Fauna and Associated Helminth Parasites in a Tropical Semi-Urban Zone, Enugu State, Nigeria

Terrestrial Snail Fauna and Associated Helminth Parasites in a Tropical Semi-Urban Zone, Enugu State, Nigeria

Grace Chinenye Onyishi, Ifeanyi Oscar Aguzie, Joseph O. Okoro, Christopher Didigwu Nwani*, Ngozi Ezenwaji, Ndubisi Stanley Oluah and Fabian C. Okafor

Department of Zoology and Environmental Biology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria

*      Corresponding author:



The productivity of snails consumed in Nigeria is affected by parasites they harbour. Some of these parasites endanger humans as well. This study was conducted to determine the terrestrial snail species and associated helminth parasites in Ugwueme agricultural zone of Enugu State, Nigeria. The snails were collected from two communities. Light and teasing methods were used for recovery of parasites from the snails. A total of 618 snails belonging to 7 species (Achatina achatina, A. belteata, A. degneri, Limicolaria aurora, L. flammea, Lamellaxis gracilis and Orthalicus sp.) were collected. A. achatina was the most abundant species (35.6%) while A. degneri was the least (1.3%). Overall, 388 snails (62.8%) were infected. A. achatina had the highest (76.4%) prevalence of infection; A. degneri had the least (37.5%). A total of 1 563 helminthes belonging to three species Cosmocercoides sp., Capillaria sp. and Philonema sp. were recovered. Mean intensity of Capillaria in A. achatina was 8.33 (5.00 – 12.00 [95% CI]) while Cosmocercoides sp. intensity in L. gracilis was 7.67 (6.00 – 11.00 [95% CI]). Diversity of parasite species in the snails assessed using diversity indices accorded A. balteata highest values for Shannon-Wiener (1.03) and Brillouin (0.90) indices with the 3 species harboured being very abundant (Reciprocal Simpson index = 2.80). A thorough understanding of the snails helminthes parasite life cycles, associated host morbidity, and direct and indirect cost of such parasitism to human is important, first for human health and welfare, secondly for sustainable snail farming, and finally for maintenance of snail biodiversity.

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology


Pakistan J. Zool., Vol. 55, Iss. 6, pp. 2501-3000


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