Effect of soil surface salt on the density and distribution of the snail Bithynia siamensis goniomphalos in northeast Thailand

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Apiporn Suwannatrai
Kulwadee Suwannatrai
Surat Haruay
Supawadee Piratae
Chalida Thammasiri
Panita Khampoosa
Jutharat Kulsantiwong
Sattrachai Prasopdee
Pairat Tarbsripair
Rasamee Suwanwerakamtorn
Somsak Sukchan
Thidarut Boonmars
John B. Malone
Michael T. Kearney
Smarn Tesana *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Smarn Tesana | smarn_te@kku.ac.th


Opisthorchis viverrini infection is associated with human cholangiocarcinoma and northeast Thailand has the highest incidence of this disease in the world. Bithynia siamensis goniomphalos is the major freshwater snail intermediate host of O. viverrini in this area and an analysis based on geographical information systems was used to determine the effect of variation in soil surface salt on the density and distribution of this snail. A malacological survey was carried out in 56 water bodies in the Khorat basin, northeast Thailand at locations with various soil surface salt levels. Mollusk samples were collected from 10 ecologically representative water body sites with 10-20 sampling stations in each. The shoreline of clear, shallow water bodies was found to be the preferred B. s. goniomphalos habitat. The snails were exclusively found in water with salinity levels ranging between 0.05 and 22.11 parts per thousand (ppt), which supports the notion that B. s. goniomphalos prefers water with some saline content over pure, freshwater. The highest snail population densities were in rice fields, ponds, road-side ditches and canals within a water salinity range of 2.5-5.0 ppt. However, the presence of B. s. goniomphalos was negatively correlated with water salinity (P ≤0.05), both with regard to density and distribution. The areas with the highest density of B. s. goniomphalos were those with less than 1% soil surface salt (potential index = 0.314), while the lowest densities were found in areas exceeding 50% soil surface salt (potential index = 0.015).

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