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Parasitology. 2001 Oct;123(Pt 4):381-8.

Echinococcus granulosus: intraspecific genetic variation assessed by a DNA repetitive element.

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  • 1Departamento de Parasitología, Administración Nacional de Laboratorios e Institutos de Salud Dr Carlos G. Malbrán, Buenos Aires, Argentina. marar@anglis.gov.ar


A 186 bp Echinococcus granulosus-specific repetitive element, TREg, was used to assess genetic variation between strains. In G7 genotype (pig strain) it has the characteristics of a satellite DNA element with a copy number of 23000 per haploid genome. Analysis, by sequencing of TREg monomers, showed a great degree of identity within them. In the G1 genotype (common sheep strain) TREg-like repetitive elements were found in an interspersed distribution throughout the genome and in only 120 copies. The sequences of these monomers showed a great degree of variation between them and with TREg of G7 origin. The G6 genotype (camel strain) showed a pattern of distribution and copy number similar to the G7 genotype, and the G2 genotype (Tasmanian sheep strain) similar to the G1 genotype. Isolates from the G5 (cattle strain) and G4 (horse strain) genotypes also showed unique hybridization patterns in Southern blot experiments. The genomic plasticity of E. granulosus, which may have important consequences in the epidemiology and control of cystic hydatid disease is reflected in the results of this work.

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