Oncomelania hupensis quadrasi: Snail intermediate host of Schistosoma japonicum in the Philippines

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Oncomelania hupensis quadrasi is the snail intermediate host of Schistosoma japonicum in the Philippines. It was discovered by Dr. Marcos Tubangui in 1932 more than two decades after the discovery of the disease in the country in 1906. This review, the first for O. h. quadrasi, presents past and present works on the taxonomy, biology, ecology, control, possible paleogeographic origin of the snail intermediate host and future in research, control and surveillance of the snail. Extensive references are made of other subspecies of O. hupensis such as the subspecies in China for which majority of the advances has been accomplished. Contrasting views on whether the snail is to be considered an independent species of Oncomelania or as one of several subspecies of Oncomelania hupensis are presented. Snail control methods such as chemical methods using synthetic and botanical molluscicides, environmental manipulation and biological control are reviewed. Use of technologies such as Remote Sensing, Geographical Information System and landscape genetics is stressed for snail surveillance. Control and prevention efforts in the Philippines have consistently focused on mass drug administration which has proved inadequate in elimination of the disease. An integrated approach that includes snail control, environmental sanitation and health education has been proposed. Population movement such as migration for employment and economic opportunities and ecotourism and global climate change resulting in heavy rains and flooding challenge the gains of control and elimination efforts. Concern for possible migration of snails to non-endemic areas is expressed given the various changes both natural and mostly man-made favoring habitat expansion.