PARASITIC PROFILE OF FIVE SPECIES OF TERRESTRIAL Achatina SNAIL IN CROSS RIVER STATE, NIGERIA: PUBLIC HEALTH IMPLICATIONS |  UTTAR PRADESH JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY

Between January and August 2021, 760 snails of the genera Achatina belonging to five species (Achatina achatina, Achatina belteata, Achatina degneri, Achatina fulica, and Achatina marginata) were sampled from six communities in six Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the Central Senatorial District, Cross River State. The most numerous species collected (32.89 percent) was A. achatina, whereas A. degneri was the least collected (11.19 percent ). There was a greater number of Achatina snails gathered during the wet season than during the dry season, with no species dominance noted. In total, 319 snails (42 percent) were afflicted with parasites. A. fulica had the highest parasitic infection prevalence (50.50 percent), while A. marginata had the lowest parasitic infection prevalence (50.50 percent) (28 percent ). The highest incidence of parasite infection was found in snail species examined in Boki LGA (56.25 percent), while the lowest prevalence was found in Obubra LGA (21.28 percent ). Angiostrongylus spp. had a mean intensity of 4.780 (4.56 – 5.00; 95 percent CI) in A. achatina, while Strongyloides spp. had a mean intensity of 4.667. (4.11-5.22; 95 percent CI). A. balteata had the highest values for Shannon-Wiener (1.653) and Margalef’s indices (1.995), as well as for species dominance using the Simpson index, when parasite species diversity was tested in snail species assessed using diversity indices (0.22). Control of snail-borne parasites is advocated through public health education and the provision of proper bathroom facilities.

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