Modelling of the distribution of Biomphalaria glabrata and Biomphalaria straminea in the metropolitan region of Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil

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Verônica Santos Barbosa *
Ricardo José de Paula Souza e Guimarães
Rodrigo Moraes Loyo
Constança Simões Barbosa
(*) Corresponding Author:
Verônica Santos Barbosa |


The occurrence of schistosomiasis is directly linked to the presence of its snail intermediate host Biomphalaria spp. Knowledge of geographical distribution, habitats and behaviour of these snails in relation to the climate is essential for guiding measures for disease prevention and control. This study aims to model the distribution of B. glabrata and B. straminea in schistosomiasis non-endemic areas of the metropolitan region of Recife (MRR) based on environmental data and estimates of snail distributions in endemic and neighbouring areas. We applied Kriging with the aim of determining the spatial distribution of these two snail species and MaxEnt for modelling their ecological behaviour. Kriging showed that the North and the Centre of the MRR were generally either snail-free or contained only B. straminea, while both snail species could be found in the South. MaxEnt supported our observation that the northern and southern coastal regions were favoured by B. glabrata and diurnal mean temperature variation; July rainfall and November rainfall were the three variables favouring Biomphalaria breeding sites that contributed the most in the predictive model we developed. The study showed the location of areas suitable to Biomphalaria spp. and therefore at potential risk, first for invasion of these snails and later for the development of new schistosomiasis- endemic areas. This information should be useful, not only to estimate expansion possibilities of this disease in the MRR, but also to point out the climatic variables that would contribute to this expansion, thereby allowing timely application of prevention and control measures.

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