Genetic diversity and transmission patterns of Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto among domestic ungulates of Sardinia, Italy

Naunain Mehmood, Giorgia Dessì, Fahad Ahmed, Gaelle Joanny, Claudia Tamponi, Maria Grazia Cappai, Antonio Varcasia, Antonio Scala

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Abstract

Cystic echinococcosis (CE), a parasitic zoonosis of public health and economic concern, is highly endemic in Sardinia, Italy. The study involved examining the intraspecific variability and demographic structure of Echinococcus granulosussensu stricto (s.s.) in common hosts of this parasite. Molecular surveillance included the fragment amplification of a partial mitochondrial gene, cox1 (750 bp), for a total of 69 isolates derived from sheep (n = 52), cattle (n = 11), pigs (n = 4), and goats (n = 2). It was ascertained that E. granulosus s.s. was the primary agent of infection among these ungulates and G1 genotype was highly prevalent (79.71%). Considerable intraspecific variation was found, revealing the existence of 22 haplotypes with relatively high haplotype (0.8555 ± 0.033) and low nucleotide diversities (0.00281 ± 0.00030). Population demographics indicated an expanding parasitic population signifying negative deviation from neutrality indices. Little genetic differentiation was found between the subpopulations of E. granulosus s.s. in the island. Moreover, the geographic dispersal of genotypes G1 and G3 also indicated similarity between Sardinian and mainland Echinococcus granulosus s.s. populations reaffirming the sympatric occurrence and efficient transmission of G1 and G3 genotypes. Molecular survey of CE has the potential to yield baseline information on the infective genotypes among the intermediate hosts and helps in devising suitable control strategies for curtailing the disease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2533-2542
Number of pages9
JournalParasitology Research
Volume120
Early online date19 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 31 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • Cystic echinococcosis
  • Echinococcus granulosus s.s
  • Genetic diversity
  • Haplotypes
  • Sardinia

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