Assessing the microbiota of the snail intermediate host of trematodes, Galba truncatula

Peter McCann, Christopher McFarland, Julianne Megaw, Karen Siu-Ting, Cinzia Cantacessi, Gabriel Rinaldi, Geoffrey N. Gobert*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The microbiome is known to play key roles in health and disease, including host susceptibility to parasite infections. The freshwater snail Galba truncatula is the intermediate host for many trematode species, including the liver and rumen flukes Fasciola hepatica and Calicophoron daubneyi, respectively. The snail-parasite system has previously been investigated. However, the specific interaction between the snail-associated microbiota and intra-snail developmental stages of trematodes has yet to be explored.

Galba truncatula snails were collected from farms in Northern Ireland and trematode infection was diagnosed using PCR. High-throughput sequencing analysis of the bacterial 16S ribosomal DNA V3-V4 hypervariable regions was subsequently applied to characterise the microbiota of both uninfected and infected snails.

We first showed that the snail harboured microbiota that was distinct for its environment. The microbiota of infected snails was found to differ significantly from that of uninfected snails. In particular, the bacterial genera Mycoplasma and Methylotenera were significantly more abundant in infected snails, while genera Sphingomonas and Nocardioides were predominantly associated with uninfected snails.

These findings pave the way to future studies on the functional roles of bacteria in host-parasite relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Article number31
Number of pages16
JournalParasites and Vectors
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2024


  • 16S-sequencing
  • Galba truncatula
  • Host-Parasite interactions
  • Microbiome
  • Microbiota
  • Parasite
  • Snail

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • General Veterinary
  • Infectious Diseases


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