Student Author(s)

Daniel Clyde, Hope College

Faculty Mentor(s)

Mr. Ron Reimink, Campus Ministries

Document Type


Event Date



“Swimmer’s itch” is a dermatitis caused by a family of parasitic flatworms (schistosomes) that have a 2-host cycle: an aquatic snail intermediate host, and a bird or mammal vertebrate host. Our goal was to determine the different species of schistosomes cycling within the Intermediate Lake ecosystem to equip their lake association for beginning control. All stages of multiple schistosome species were assessed through water sampling and qPCR analysis, snail shedding and cercariae identification, and waterfowl fecal analysis to identify miracidia. Water sample analysis showed three species of schistosomes were present, one of which was a novel species not yet described. Additional work was done with the novel species to determine that optimal shedding times from the snail intermediate host differs from other Michigan schistosome species. The goal was to use the schistosomes behavior to help identify the unknown definitive host.


This research was supported by Freshwater Solutions, LLC.

Included in

Biology Commons