WormBase ParaSite HomeVersion: WBPS19 (WS291)-  Archive: WBPS18

Heterobilharzia americana

BioProject PRJEB44434 | Data Source Wellcome Sanger Institute | Taxonomy ID 39320

About Heterobilharzia americana

Heterobilharzia americana (HA) is a parasitic blood fluke that infects various species of mammals, including racoons, dogs, cats, and humans. It is a trematode parasite endemic to the Gulf Coast regions of the United States which also has been reported in Kansas, North Carolina, and Indiana. The parasite's life cycle involves snails as intermediate hosts, where they release cercariae that penetrate the skin of their mammalian hosts, causing a dermatitis-like condition. Dogs are exposed to infection when immersed in freshwater lakes or streams harboring lymnaeid snails (the intermediate host). The cercariae then migrate to the lungs and liver, where they mature into adult flukes and lay eggs. Heterobilharzia americana cercariae from snails have been incriminated in causing dermatitis in humans (“swimmer’s itch”) following skin penetration.

There is 1 alternative strain from this genome project for Heterobilharzia americana available in WormBase ParaSite: tdHetHame1.1

Genome Assembly & Annotation


This annotated genome assembly was produced as part of the doctoral thesis of Duncan Berger: [Berger, D. (2021). Comparative and population genomic analyses of the parasitic blood flukes (Doctoral thesis)](https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.86667).

The assembly was generated from PacBio long-read sequencing data and scaffolded using Hi-C.

The source material for genome sequencing was an adult worm, from USA in 1986, archived as part of the SCAN collection at the Natural History Museum, London, and provided by Fiona Allan, Aidan Emery and Muriel Rabone. Additional worms from the same collection were used for gene finding.


Gene finding employed a customized pipeline that integrated RNA-Seq, Iso-Seq and homology data. Berger, D. (2021). Comparative and population genomic analyses of the parasitic blood flukes (Doctoral thesis).

Assembly Statistics

AssemblytdHetHame2.1, GCA_944470555.2
Database VersionWBPS19
Genome Size665,588,900
Data SourceWellcome Sanger Institute
Annotation Version2022-10-WormBase

Gene counts

Coding genes10,892
Gene transcripts18,732

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