Echinococcus equinus and Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto from the United Kingdom: genetic diversity and haplotypic variation
Boufana B, Lett WS, Lahmar S, Buishi I, Bodell AJ, Varcasia A, Casulli A, Beeching NJ, Campbell F, Terlizzo M, McManus DP, Craig PS
Cystic echinococcosis is endemic in Europe including the United Kingdom. However, information on the molecular epidemiology of Echinococcus spp. from the United Kingdom is limited. Echinococcus isolates from intermediate and definitive animal hosts as well as from human cystic echinococcosis cases were analysed to determine species and genotypes within these hosts. Echinococcus equinus was identified from horse hydatid isolates, cysts retrieved from captive UK mammals and copro-DNA of foxhounds and farm dogs. Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto (s.s.) was identified from hydatid cysts of sheep and cattle as well as in DNA extracted from farm dog and foxhound faecal samples, and from four human cystic echinococcosis isolates, including the first known molecular confirmation of E. granulosus s.s. infection in a Welsh sheep farmer. Low genetic variability for E. equinus from various hosts and from different geographical locations was detected using the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene (cox1), indicating the presence of a dominant haplotype (EQUK01). In contrast, greater haplotypic variation was observed for E. granulosus s.s. cox1 sequences. The haplotype network showed a star-shaped network with a centrally placed main haplotype (EgUK01) that had been reported from other world regions.
International Journal of Parasitology