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Mating interactions of Schistosoma haematobium and S. intercalatum with their hybrid offspring

  • B. L. WEBSTER (a1) and V. R. SOUTHGATE (a1)

Abstract

Experiments were designed to study the mating behaviour between the Schistosoma haematobium [male ]×S. intercalatum [female] hybrid and the 2 parental species S. haematobium and S. intercalatum. Individual worms were identified by electrophoretic analysis of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, which was characteristic for each isolate. Analysis of the data obtained showed that both heterospecific and homospecific pairs formed between the hybrids and S. haematobium and S. intercalatum. S. haematobium and the hybrid are better than S. intercalatum in forming pairs, and S. haematobium showed a greater homospecific mate preference compared with the hybrid. Analysis of the data using the Mantel-Haenszel test suggests that mating competition does exist between the schistosomes, with the hybrid being dominant over both the parental species and S. haematobium being dominant over S. intercalatum. The hybrid males showed a greater ability than S. intercalatum and S. haematobium males in taking away S. haematobium and S. intercalatum females from their homospecific males when introduced into a pre-established S. haematobium or S. intercalatum infection. They were able to take females from S. intercalatum homospecific pairs more easily compared with females from S. haematobium homospecific pairs. The significance of the results is discussed in relation to the epidemiological changes of schistosomiasis in Cameroon, where hybridization between S. haematobium and S. intercalatum has taken place, with S. haematobium and the hybrid managing to replace the endemic S. intercalatum over the last 30 years.

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Tel: +44 207 942 5490. Fax: +44 207942 5518. E-mail: V.Southgate@nhm.ac.uk

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Mating interactions of Schistosoma haematobium and S. intercalatum with their hybrid offspring

  • B. L. WEBSTER (a1) and V. R. SOUTHGATE (a1)

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