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Comparative evaluation of Giardia duodenalis sequence data

  • C. M. WIELINGA (a1) and R. C. A. THOMPSON (a1)

A review of the Giardia duodenalis sequences currently available on the GenBank database was completed to compare the different genotyping loci (small subunit ribosomal DNA, glutamate dehydrogenase, triose-phosphate isomerase and beta giardin) for their ability to discern assemblage and subassemblage groups and infer phylogenetic relationships. In total, 405 Giardia duodenalis sequences were sorted and aligned to examine the substitutions within and between the assemblages – A and B (zoonotic), C and D (dogs), E (livestock), F (cats) and G (rodents). It was found that all of the genes could reproducibly group isolates into their assemblages and that the AI/AII subassemblage groups were robust and identifiable at all loci. However, the assemblage B subgroups were not reproducible at half of the loci (small subunit ribosomal DNA and beta giardin), not due to their conserved nature, but because there was insufficient sequence data of reference isolates available for comparison. It is anticipated that further investigation of these loci may reveal the core subgroups of this medically important and zoonotic assemblage and also those of others. The closer, more recent, phylogenetic relationships amongst the assemblages appear to be resolved; however, more sequence data from the current loci, and possibly new loci, will be required to establish the remaining relationships.

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