• Reconnaissance of the Distribution and Abundance of Schistosomatium Douthitti, a Possible Human Disease Agent in Surface Waters in Alaska

      Swartz, L.G. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1968-02)
      Studies during the summer and early fall of 1967 show that Schistosomatium douthitti, a blood fluke which may pose a health hazard to man, is well established in the surface waters and surrounding terrestrial environments in the Fairbanks area. It is almost certain that this situation exists throughout Interior Alaska. Ecologically and geologically, the lakes and ponds in which it has been found are the most abundant types in the Interior and both the specific lakes and the types which they represent are abundantly used by man. The life cycle of the worm in this area is probably sustained mostly in small mammals, especially in Microtus pennsvlvanicus but also in Clethrionomys rutilus. The infection certainly over-winters in the mammal host but probably also survives in the snail host under the ice. Although the fluke was only found in two of the nine mammalian species examined, it is probable that it occurs in other than Microtus pennsvlvanicus and Clethrionomys rutilus.