Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Molecular identification of Taenia spp. in the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) from Finland

  • A. LAVIKAINEN (a1), V. HAUKISALMI (a2) (a3), G. DEKSNE (a4) (a5), K. HOLMALA (a6), M. LEJEUNE (a7), M. ISOMURSU (a8), P. JOKELAINEN (a9), A. NÄREAHO (a9), J. LAAKKONEN (a9), E. P. HOBERG (a10) and A. SUKURA (a9)...

Cestodes of the genus Taenia are parasites of mammals, with mainly carnivores as definitive and herbivores as intermediate hosts. Various medium-sized cats, Lynx spp., are involved in the life cycles of several species of Taenia. The aim of the present study was to identify Taenia tapeworms in the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) from Finland. In total, 135 tapeworms from 72 lynx were subjected to molecular identification based on sequences of 2 mtDNA regions, the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 and the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1 genes. Available morphological characters of the rostellar hooks and strobila were compared. Two species of Taenia were found: T. laticollis (127 samples) and an unknown Taenia sp. (5 samples). The latter could not be identified to species based on mtDNA, and the rostellar hooks were short relative to those described among other Taenia spp. recorded in felids from the Holarctic region. In the phylogenetic analyses of mtDNA sequences, T. laticollis was placed as a sister species of T. macrocystis, and the unknown Taenia sp. was closely related to T. hydatigena and T. regis. Our analyses suggest that these distinct taeniid tapeworms represent a putative new species of Taenia. The only currently recognized definitive host is L. lynx and the intermediate host is unknown.

Corresponding author
* Corresponding author: Department of Bacteriology and Immunology, Haartman Institute, P.O. Box 21, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland. Tel. +358919126891. Fax: +358919126382. E-mail:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

M. N. S. Al-Sabi and C. M. O. Kapel (2011). Multiplex PCR identification of Taenia spp. in rodents and carnivores. Parasitology Research 109, 12931298. doi: 10.1007/s00436-011-2373-9.

G. Bagrade , K. Vismanis , M. Kirjušina and J. Ozolinš (2003). Preliminary results on the helminthofauna of the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) in Latvia. Acta Zoologica Lituanica 13, 37.

J. Bowles , D. Blair and D. P. McManus (1992). Genetic variants within the genus Echinococcus identified by mitochondrial DNA sequencing. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology 54, 165174.

J. Bowles and D. P. McManus (1993). NADH dehydrogenase 1 gene sequences compared for species and strains of the genus Echinococcus . International Journal for Parasitology 23, 969972.

R. Chenna , H. Sugawara , T. Koike , R. Lopez , T. J. Gibson , D. G. Higgins and J. D. Thompson (2003). Multiple sequence alignment with the Clustal series of programs. Nucleic Acids Research 31, 34973500. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkg500.

A. Galimberti , D. F. Romano , M. Genchi , D. Paoloni , F. Vercillo , L. Bizzarri , D. Sassera , C. Bandi , C. Genchi , B. Ragni and M. Casiraghi (2012). Integrative taxonomy at work: DNA barcoding of taeniids harboured by wild and domestic cats. Molecular Ecology Resources 12, 403413.

V. Haukisalmi , A. Lavikainen , S. Laaksonen and S. Meri (2011). Taenia arctos n. sp. (Cestoda: Cyclophyllidea: Taeniidae) from its definitive (brown bear Ursus arctos Linnaeus) and intermediate (moose/elk Alces spp.) hosts. Systematic Parasitology 80, 217230. doi: 10.1007/s11230-011-9324-9.

E. P. Hoberg (2006). Phylogeny of Taenia: species definitions and origins of human parasites. Parasitology International 55, S23S30. doi: 10.1016/jparint.2005.11.049.

E. P. Hoberg , N. L. Alkire , A. de Queiroz and A. Jones (2001). Out of Africa: origins of the Taenia tapeworms in humans. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B 268, 781787. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2000.1579.

E. P. Hoberg , K. E. Galbreath , J. A. Cook , S. J. Kutz and L. Polley (2012). Northern host-parasite assemblages: history and biogeography on the borderlands of episodic climate and environmental transition. Advances in Parasitology 79, 197.

M. Hüttner , M. Nakao , T. Wassermann , L. Siefert , J. D. F. Boomker , A. Dinkel , Y. Sako , U. Mackenstedt , T. Romig and A. Ito (2008). Genetic characterization and phylogenetic position of Echinococcus felidis Ortlepp, 1937 (Cestoda: Taeniidae) from the African lion. International Journal for Parasitology 38, 861868. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2007.10.013.

M. Hüttner , L. Siefert , U. Mackenstedt and T. Romig (2009). A survey of Echinococcus species in wild carnivores and livestock in East Africa. International Journal for Parasitology 39, 12691276.

H. K. Jeon , K. H. Kim and K. S. Eom (2007). Complete sequence of the mitochondrial genome of Taenia saginata: comparison with T. solium and T. asiatica. Parasitology International 56, 243246.

H. K. Jeon , K. H. Lee , K. H. Kim , U. W. Hwang and K. S. Eom (2005). Complete sequence and structure of the mitochondrial genome of the human tapeworm, Taenia asiatica (Platyhelminthes; Cestoda). Parasitology 130, 717726. doi: 10.1017/S0031182004007164.

W. Z. Jia , H. B. Yan , A. J. Guo , X. Q. Zhu , Y. C. Wang , W. G. Shi , H. T. Chen , F. Zhan , S. H. Zhang , B. Q. Fu , D. T. Littlewood and X. P. Cai (2010). Complete mitochondrial genomes of Taenia multiceps, T. hydatigena and T. pisiformis: additional molecular markers for a tapeworm genus of human and animal health significance. BMC Genomics 11, 447.

W. Jia , H. Yan , Z. Lou , X. Ni , V. Dyachenko , H. Li and D. T. Littlewood (2012). Mitochondrial genes and genomes support a cryptic species of tapeworm within Taenia taeniaeformis . Acta Tropica 123, 154163.

A. Jones and M. J. Pybus (2001). Taeniasis and echinococcosis. In Parasitic Diseases of Wild Mammals, 2nd Edn (ed. W. M. Samuel , M. J. Pybus and A. A. Kocan ), pp. 150192. Manson Publishing, London, UK.

M. Kimura (1980). A simple method for estimating evolutionary rates of base substitutions through comparative studies of nucleotide sequences. Journal of Molecular Evolution 16, 111120.

J. Knapp , M. Nakao , T. Yanagida , M. Okamoto , U. Saarma , A. Lavikainen and A. Ito (2011). Phylogenetic relationships within Echinococcus and Taenia tapeworms (Cestoda: Taeniidae): an inference from nuclear protein-coding genes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 61, 628638.

A. Lavikainen , V. Haukisalmi , M. J. Lehtinen , H. Henttonen , A. Oksanen and S. Meri (2008). A phylogeny of members of the family Taeniidae based on the mitochondrial cox1 and nad1 gene data. Parasitology 135, 14571467. doi: 10.1017/S003118200800499X.

A. Lavikainen , V. Haukisalmi , M. J. Lehtinen , S. Laaksonen , S. Holmström , M. Isomursu , A. Oksanen and S. Meri (2010). Mitochondrial DNA data reveal cryptic species within Taenia krabbei. Parasitology International 59, 290293. doi: 10.1016/j.parint.2010.03.003.

A. Lavikainen , S. Laaksonen , K. Beckmen , A. Oksanen , M. Isomursu and S. Meri (2011). Molecular identification of Taenia spp. in wolves (Canis lupus), brown bears (Ursus arctos) and cervids from North Europe and Alaska. Parasitology International 60, 289295. doi: 10.1016/j.parint.2011.04.004.

A. Lavikainen , M. J. Lehtinen , T. Meri , V. Hirvelä-Koski and S. Meri (2003). Molecular genetic characterization of the Fennoscandian cervid strain, a new genotypic group (G10) of Echinococcus granulosus . Parasitology 127, 207215. doi: 10.1017/S0031182003003780.

T. H. Le , D. Blair , T. Agatsuma , P. F. Humair , N. J. Campbell , M. Iwagami , D. T. Littlewood , B. Peacock , D. A. Johnston , J. Bartley , D. Rollinson , E. A. Herniou , D. S. Zarlenga and D. P. McManus (2000). Phylogenies inferred from mitochondrial gene orders – a cautionary tale from the parasitic flatworms. Molecular Biology and Evolution 17, 11231125.

G. H. Liu , R. Q. Lin , M. W. Li , W. Liu , Y. Liu , Z. G. Yuan , H. Q. Song , G. H. Zhao , K. X. Zhang and X. Q. Zhu (2011). The complete mitochondrial genomes of three cestode species of Taenia infecting animals and humans. Molecular Biology Reports 38, 22492256.

B. Loos-Frank (2000). An up-date of Verster's (1969) ‘Taxonomic revision of the genus Taenia Linnaeus’ (Cestoda) in table format. Systematic Parasitology 45, 155183.

M. Nakao , D. P. McManus , P. M. Schantz , P. S. Craig and A. Ito (2007). A molecular phylogeny of the genus Echinococcus inferred from complete mitochondrial genomes. Parasitology 134, 713722. doi: 10.1017/S0031182006001934.

M. Nakao , Y. Sako and A. Ito (2003). The mitochondrial genome of the tapeworm Taenia solium: a finding of the abbreviated stop codon U. Journal of Parasitology 89, 633635.

M. Okamoto , Y. Bessho , M. Kamiya , T. Kurosawa and T. Horii (1995). Phylogenetic relationships within Taenia taeniaeformis variants and other taeniid cestodes inferred from the nucleotide sequence of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene. Parasitology Research 81, 415458.

D. Posada and K. A. Crandall (1998). MODELTEST: testing the model of DNA substitution. Bioinformatics 14, 817818.

E. Pulliainen , E. Lindgren and P. S. Tunkkari (1995). Influence of food availability and reproductive status on the diet and body condition of the European lynx in Finland. Acta Theriologica 40, 181196.

R. L. Rausch (1981). Morphological and biological characteristics of Taenia rileyi Loewen, 1929 (Cestoda: Taeniidae). Canadian Journal of Zoology 59, 653666.

J. D. Smith , E. M. Addison , D. G. Joachim , L. M. Smith and N. W. S. Quinn (1986) Helminth parasites of Canada lynx (Felis canadensis) from northern Ontario. Canadian Journal of Zoology 64, 358364.

H. Valdmann , E. Moks and H. Talvik (2004). Helminth fauna of Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) in Estonia. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 40, 356360.

L. Zhang , M. Hu , A. Jones , B. A. Alsopp , I. Beveridge , A. R. Schindler and R. B. Gasser (2007). Characterization of Taenia madoquae and Taenia regis from carnivores in Kenya using genetic markers in nuclear and mitochondrial DNA, and their relationships with other selected taeniids. Molecular and Cellular Probes 21, 379385. doi: 10.1016/j.mcp.2007.05.003.

C. G. Zyll de Jong , van (1966). Parasites of the Canada lynx, Felis (Lynx) canadensis (Kerr). Canadian Journal of Zoology 44, 499509.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

  • ISSN: 0031-1820
  • EISSN: 1469-8161
  • URL: /core/journals/parasitology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 5
Total number of PDF views: 22 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 308 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 20th September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.