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Schistosoma cercariae and biomphilaria snails Credit. Natural History Museum SCAN collection.

Wellcome Trust Biomedical Resource; Schistosome and Snail Resource (SSR)

The largest UK biomedical resource providing live schistosome life-cycle stages and their intermediate snail hosts to advance schistosomiasis research worldwide.

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About

The Schistosome Snail Resource (SSR) is an open access biomedical resource that aims to generate and make freely available live schistosome life-cycle stages, snail intermediate hosts and related material for schistosomiasis research. It’s main focus will be to provide bespoke material, species and strains, not currently available in laboratory life-cycle systems in the UK.

Who we are

The SSR is a partnership between the Natural History Museum and the LSHTM with additional key collaborations within other institutions in Africa, USA and Europe that maintain schistosome life-cycles.  

Contact us

Get in touch with your schistosome life-cycle needs to advance your research.

About us
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Schistosomes, transmitted by fresh water snails, infect >200 million people in low/middle income countries, particularly sub-Saharan Africa. While substantial advances have been made in the control of human schistosomiasis, the diversity and complexity of schistosomes and their specific fresh-water snail hosts warrants fundamental research requiring lifecycles and live material. Without the availability of Schistosoma lifecycles future research faces substantial obstacles; currently very few labs are able to maintain the parasites and/or the snail hosts and current long-term cultures lack the genetic heterogeneity observed in natural populations. Our proposal is for the creation of a Schistosome and Snail Resource (SSR), maintaining live material and lifecycles that are currently limited or that do not exist elsewhere.

The SSR will provide access to:

  1. the “standard/model” Schistosoma and snail species;
  2. key African Schistosoma species/strains;
  3. cultures of diverse snail vectors, enhancing current research and capacity while enabling new research avenues.

Our historical expertise in establishing and maintaining unique schistosome and snail isolates from different endemic settings, together with our state-of-the art snail facility (NHM) and LSHTM rodent facility will facilitate the development of the resource. The SSR will add considerable value by facilitating priority research needed to support schistosomiasis control and elimination. 

Who we are

The SSR is a partnership between the Natural History Museum, London and the LSHTM with additional key collaborations within other institutions in Africa, USA and Europe that maintain schistosome life-cycles. 

Team Block
Principal Investigators

Bonnie Webster

. Invertebrate Division (Parasites and Vectors), Natural History Museum, London

Aidan Emery

Invertebrate Division (Parasites and Vectors), Natural History Museum, London

Amaya
Bustinduy

Associate Professor
Co-Investigators

Vanessa
Yardley

Assistant Professor
Publications
Publications
Population genetics of African Schistosoma species
Rey O, Webster BL, Huyse T, Rollinson D, Van den Broeck F, Kincaid-Smith J, Onyekwere A, Boissier J.
2021
Infect Genet Evol. 2021 Apr;89:104727. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2021.104727. Epub 2021 Jan 21. PMID: 33486128
Nanopore Sequencing Resolves Elusive Long Tandem-Repeat Regions in Mitochondrial Genomes
Kinkar L, Gasser RB, Webster BL, Rollinson D, Littlewood DTJ, Chang BCH, Stroehlein AJ, Korhonen PK, Young ND
2021
Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Feb 11;22(4):1811. doi: 10.3390/ijms22041811. PMID: 33670420; PMCID: PMC7918261.
Diverging patterns of introgression from Schistosoma bovis across S. haematobium African lineages
Rey O, Toulza E, Chaparro C, Allienne J-F, Kincaid-Smith J, Mathieu-Begne E, et al. Webster B.L., Boissier J
2021
PLoS Pathog 17(2): e1009313
Interactions between Schistosoma haematobium group species and their Bulinus spp. intermediate hosts along the Niger River Valley
Pennance, T., Allan, F., Emery, A. et al. Webster B.L
2020
Parasites Vectors 13, 268 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-020-04136-9
Development of a Molecular Snail Xenomonitoring Assay to Detect Schistosoma haematobium and Schistosoma bovis Infections in their Bulinus Snail Hosts
Pennance T, Archer J, Lugli EB, Rostron P, Llanwarne F, Ali SM, Amour AK, Suleiman KR, Li S, Rollinson D, Cable J, Knopp S, Allan F, Ame SM, Webster BL
2020
Molecules. 2020 Sep 2;25(17):4011. doi: 10.3390/molecules25174011. PMID: 32887445; PMCID: PMC7116084
Analytical and Clinical Assessment of a Portable, Isothermal Recombinase Polymerase Amplification (RPA) Assay for the Molecular Diagnosis of Urogenital Schistosomiasis
Archer J, Barksby R, Pennance T, Rostron P, Bakar F, Knopp S, Allan F, Kabole F, Ali SM, Ame SM, Rollinson D, Webster BL
2020
Molecules. 2020 Sep 11;25(18):4175. doi: 10.3390/molecules25184175. PMID: 32933094; PMCID: PMC7570534