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Review
. 2017 Mar;91(2):137-149.
doi: 10.1017/S0022149X16000547. Epub 2016 Aug 9.

Diversity of Helminth Parasites in Aquatic Invertebrate Hosts in Latin America: How Much Do We Know?

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Review

Diversity of Helminth Parasites in Aquatic Invertebrate Hosts in Latin America: How Much Do We Know?

M L Aguirre-Macedo et al. J Helminthol. .

Abstract

Helminths in aquatic invertebrate hosts have been overlooked in comparison with vertebrate hosts. Therefore, the known diversity, ecology and distribution of these host-parasite systems are very limited in terms of their taxonomic diversity, habitat and geographic regions. In this study we examined the published literature on helminth parasites of aquatic invertebrates from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) to identify the state of the knowledge in the region and to identify patterns of helminth diversity. Results showed that 67% of the literature is from Argentina, Mexico and Brazil. We found records for 772 host-parasite associations. Most records relate to medically or economically important hosts. Molluscs were the most studied host group with 377 helminth records (80% trematodes). The lymnaeids and planorbids were the most studied molluscs across LAC. Arthropods were the second most studied host group with 78 helminth records (trematodes 38%, cestodes 24% and nematodes 20%), with shrimps and crabs being the most studied hosts. Host species with the largest number of helminth taxa were those with a larger sampling effort through time, usually in a small country region. No large geographical-scale studies were identified. In general, the knowledge is still too scarce to allow any zoogeographical or helminth diversity generalization, as most hosts have been studied locally and the studies on invertebrate hosts in LAC are substantially uneven among countries.

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