banner

freshwater prawns

The second most devastating parasitic disease in the world is schistosomiasis, which affects agricultural and fishing populations in poor and rural communities of tropical and subtropical regions. About 250 million people contract schistosomiasis every year. Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, recently revealed new research that outlines how freshwater prawn farms can reduce the spread of the parasitic disease.

The organisms that cause schistosomiasis are parasitic worms that live, develop, and multiply in certain freshwater snails. When the parasitic worms are mature, they come out of the snails and contaminate the freshwater. When humans come in contact with the water, the worms penetrate the skin and live in the blood vessels. According to the recent study, small-scale aquaculture systems of river prawns would aid in the reduction of these parasites in freshwater.

River prawns are voracious consumers of the snails that carry the parasitic worms. The parasites cannot infect the prawns, and the parasitic disease (schistosomiasis) is not transmissible via ingestion. Using economic and epidemiologic modeling, the researchers determined that raising native prawn species in the freshwater habitats where the parasite-carrying snails live would not only reduce the number snails in the water but also generate revenue for the farmers. Their research indicates that growing native freshwater prawns in contaminated waterways would have the same effect as the widescale administration of drugs that prevent schistosomiasis transmission.

The researchers believe that freshwater prawn aquaculture is a new tool to combat schistosomiasis around the world.

More from IFTNEXT right arrow

Molecule in oranges, tangerines could reverse obesity

Researchers at Western University have identified a molecule found in oranges and tangerines that could hold the key to reversing obesity and regressing plaque build-up in arteries.

Identifying chocolate using its ‘fingerprints’

Researchers from Towson University developed a method for determining where a particular chocolate was produced using its chemical “fingerprint,” with the hopes that it could one day be used to trace the chocolate back to the farm that grew the beans.

Amino acid plays a role in durian fruit’s stinky smell

The durian fruit stinks. Literally. The fruit from Southeast Asia is said to at best smell like rotten onions. Now, new research has found that an amino acid plays a role in giving the durian fruit its notorious smell.

Interrupting the reproductive cycle for Aspergillus

For as long as humans have been growing food crops, pests and pathogens have been attacking them. For one fungal pathogen, scientists in the United Kingdom have figured out a way to use its own biology to prevent it from destroying crops.

Latest News right arrow

Farms experience animal backlog, small U.S. meat processors overrun

According to The Washington Post, coronavirus outbreaks at meatpacking plants across the United States have forced temporary closures and resulted in a backlog of hundreds of thousands of animals that were ready to be slaughtered weeks ago but increasingly have nowhere to go.

SNAP online purchasing to cover 90% of households

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced that households in an additional 13 states will soon be able to purchase food online with their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

China looks to boost soy, meat orders in preparation for second wave of COVID-19

According to Reuters, China has asked trading firms and food processors to boost inventories of grains and oilseeds as a possible second wave of coronavirus cases and worsening infection rates elsewhere raise concerns about global supply lines.

Wisconsin latest state to receive USDA approval to accept SNAP benefits online

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced the approval of a request from Wisconsin to provide online purchasing of food to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households.

USDA program to feed kids during the pandemic expands to 20 states

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced that Maine, North Dakota, West Virginia, and Vermont have been approved to operate Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT).