Sparganosis in wild-caught javanese keelback water snakes (Fowlea melanzostus) from Indonesia

Aditya Yudhana, Ratih Novita Praja, Arum Pratiwi, Anjani Marisa Kartikasari

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Sparganosis is a globally important water and food-borne parasitic zoonosis, caused by the plerocercoid (spargana) stage of Spirometra spp. However, in Indonesia sparganosis is still categorized as neglected zoonotic disease due to paucity of reports on the prevalence of spargana in naturally infected hosts. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the prevalence of spargana infection in wild-caught Javanese keelback water snakes (Fowlea melanzostus) from Banyuwangi District, East Java Province, Indonesia. Microscopic examination using semichen-acetic carmine staining method was used to confirm plerocercoid stage of Spirometra spp., in which the anterior end had specific structure (bothria) and was broader compared to the posterior end. The study revealed a very high prevalence rate of 92.72% (51/55) of spargana in these snakes. Spargana were mostly distributed in muscle tissues (57.97%), followed by subcutaneous tissues (25.08%) and visceral organs (13.62%). To our knowledge, this study not only records the first report but also reveals the role of aquatic snakes as transmitters of sparganosis in Asia. Regarding the high prevalence, further studies are recommended to explain the role of various species of snakes which can serve as intermediate hosts in the spread of sparganosis in the natural environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-63
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Veterinary Parasitology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Fowlea melanzostus
  • Javanese keelback water snake
  • Prevalence
  • Sparganosis
  • Spirometra


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