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High genetic diversity in the Dirofilaria repens species complex revealed by mitochondrial genomes of feline microfilaria samples from Narathiwat, Thailand

Yilmaz, Esra and Wongkamchai, Sirichit and Ramünke, Sabrina and Koutsovoulos, Georgios D. and Blaxter, Mark L. and Poppert, Sven and Schaper, Roland and von Samson-Himmelstjerna, Georg and Krücken, Jürgen. (2019) High genetic diversity in the Dirofilaria repens species complex revealed by mitochondrial genomes of feline microfilaria samples from Narathiwat, Thailand. Transboundary and emerging diseases, 66 (1). pp. 389-399.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/69179/

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Abstract

Dirofilaria repens is a zoonotic, mosquito-borne filaria infecting carnivores, particularly dogs. It is expanding its range in Europe but epidemiological information is sparse for other Eurasian regions. In Hong Kong and India, the closely related species Candidatus Dirofilaria hongkongensis was proposed. Previous analysis of 2.5 kb partial mitochondrial genome sequences containing the particularly variable non-coding control region revealed low diversity in European D. repens while Asian nematodes showed high diversity. Sequences derived from feline blood samples from Narathiwat (Thailand) led to the proposal of a third potential species, Dirofilaria sp. "Thailand II". To avoid bias from rapidly evolving non-coding regions, this study aimed to compare Dirofilaria sp. "Thailand II" with D. repens and C. D. hongkongensis based on complete mitochondrial genomes. Using PCRs and Sanger sequencing, three complete mitochondrial genomes (13,651 bp) were assembled from DNA obtained from different feline blood samples. Mitochondrial genome organization was identical to other onchocercids with eleven protein-coding, two rRNA and 22 tRNA genes and no atp-8 gene. All genes were on the same strand showing an extremely high thymidine content (56.7%). Maximum-likelihood phylogenetic analysis using protein and rRNA sequences confirmed closer relationship of Dirofilaria sp. "Thailand II" to C. D. hongkongensis than to D. repens. All distances between these three putative species were considerably larger than the distance between the valid sibling species Onchocerca volvulus and Onchocerca ochengi. Sequencing of a 2.5 kb fragment containing the control region from microfilarial DNA from additional feline blood samples from Narathiwat 3-4 years later revealed that these also fell into the C. D. hongkongensis clade but were remarkably different from C. D. hongkongensis and Dirofilaria sp. "Thailand II". Since D. repens-like filaria are absent from dogs in Narathiwat, further field studies are required to confirm if these genotypes represent locally circulating cat-specific Dirofilaria genotypes or species.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Medicine > Diagnostic (Marti)
UniBasel Contributors:Poppert, Sven
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:1865-1674
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:26 Feb 2019 08:47
Deposited On:26 Feb 2019 08:47

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