Genetic polymorphism was determined among 13 isolates of Taenia solium from various regions using PCR-amplified sequences of 2 mitochondrial genes: cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 and cytochrome b. The 2 phylogenies obtained were similar to each other regardless of the genes examined. The isolates from Asia (China, Thailand, Irian Jaya and India) formed a single cluster, whereas the isolates from Latin America (Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Brazil) combined with those from Africa (Tanzania, Mozambique and Cameroon) to form an additional cluster. These results and historical data of swine domestication, distribution of pigs and colonization suggest that T. solium was introduced recently into Latin America and Africa from different regions of Europe during the colonial age, which started 500 years ago, and that the tapeworm of another origin independently spread in Asian countries.
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