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Reduced genetic variability within coding and non-coding regions of the Echinococcus multilocularis genome

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 November 1997

K. L. HAAG
Affiliation:
Departamento de Genética, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Caixa Postal 15053, Porto Alegre 91501-970, Brazil
A. ZAHA
Affiliation:
Departamento de Biotecnologia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Caixa Postal 15005, Porto Alegre, 91501-970, Brazil
A. M. ARAÚJO
Affiliation:
Departamento de Genética, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Caixa Postal 15053, Porto Alegre 91501-970, Brazil
B. GOTTSTEIN
Affiliation:
Institute of Parasitology, University of Berne, Langasstrasse 122, PO Box 8466, Berne, CH-3001, Switzerland

Abstract

Echinococcus multilocularis, a vulpine intestinal tapeworm, is the causative agent of alveolar echinococosis in humans, one of the most severe and lethal parasitic infections in man. To date, there is very little knowledge about the genetical polymorphism of this parasite. To assess sequence polymorphism, we analysed a sample of 33 E. multilocularis isolates from Europe, North America and Asia by PCR-SSCP followed by nucleotide sequencing. This assessment was performed comparatively to sheep, cattle and pig E. granulosus strains. Coding (nuclear antigen B and mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase genes) and non-coding (introns of actin and homeobox-containing genes) regions of the parasite genome were chosen as targets. Since the estimated nucleotide diversity among genotypes of E. multilocularis were, in general, 10 times lower than among the recognized different strains of E. granulosus, we suggest that the conventional classification of the former species in 2 separated strains (European and North American) should be reviewed.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
1997 Cambridge University Press

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