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Schistosoma mansoni is a parasitic fluke that infects millions of people in the developing world. This study presents the first application of population genomics to S. mansoni based on high-coverage resequencing data from 10 global isolates and an isolate of the closely-related Schistosoma rodhaini, which infects rodents. Using population genetic tests, we document genes under directional and balancing selection in S. mansoni that may facilitate adaptation to the human host. Coalescence modeling reveals the speciation of S. mansoni and S. rodhaini as 107.5-147.6KYA, a period which overlaps with the earliest archaeological evidence for fishing in Africa. Our results indicate that S. mansoni originated in East Africa and experienced a decline in effective population size 20-90KYA, before dispersing across the continent during the Holocene. In addition, we find strong evidence that S. mansoni migrated to the New World with the 16-19th Century Atlantic Slave Trade.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/srep20954

Type

Journal article

Journal

Scientific reports

Publication Date

16/02/2016

Volume

6

Addresses

Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College London, St Mary's Campus, Norfolk Place, London W2 1PG, United Kingdom.

Keywords

Animals, Humans, Schistosoma mansoni, Sequence Analysis, DNA, Genetics, Population, Population Density, Evolution, Molecular, Phylogeny, Phenotype, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Genome, Helminth, Genetic Variation, Selection, Genetic