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Microdiversity of Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto in Australia

  • C. A. ALVAREZ ROJAS (a1), D. EBI (a2), C. G. Gauci (a3), J. P. SCHEERLINCK (a1), M. WASSERMANN (a2), D. J. JENKINS (a4), M. W. LIGHTOWLERS (a3) and T. ROMIG (a2)...


Echinococcus granulosus (sensu lato) is now recognized as an assemblage of cryptic species, which differ considerably in morphology, development, host specificity (including infectivity/pathogenicity for humans) and other aspects. One of these species, E. granulosus sensu stricto (s.s.), is now clearly identified as the principal agent causing cystic echinococcosis in humans. Previous studies of a small section of the cox1 and nadh1 genes identified two variants of E. granulosus s.s. to be present in Australia; however, no further work has been carried out to characterize the microdiversity of the parasite in its territory. We have analysed the sequence of the full length of the cox1 gene (1609 bp) from 37 isolates of E. granulosus from different hosts and geographic regions of Australia. The analysis shows that seven haplotypes of E. granulosus s.s. not previously described were found, together with five haplotypes known to be present in other parts of the world, including the haplotype EG01 which is widespread and present in all endemic regions. These data extend knowledge related to the geographical spread and host range of E. granulosus s.s. in a country such as Australia in which the parasite established around 200 years ago.


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*Corresponding author: Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, Centre for Animal Biotechnology, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia. E-mail:


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Microdiversity of Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto in Australia

  • C. A. ALVAREZ ROJAS (a1), D. EBI (a2), C. G. Gauci (a3), J. P. SCHEERLINCK (a1), M. WASSERMANN (a2), D. J. JENKINS (a4), M. W. LIGHTOWLERS (a3) and T. ROMIG (a2)...


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