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J Parasitol. 2013 Feb;99(1):137-44. doi: 10.1645/GE-3163.1. Epub 2012 Aug 27.

Molecular phylogeny and host specificity of the larval Eustrongylides (Nematoda: Dioctophmidae) from freshwater fish in China.

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  • 1The Key Laboratory of Aquatic Biodiversity and Conservation of Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072, China.


The nematodes Eustrongylides spp. collected from different fish species in China were examined for their intra- and interspecific evolutionary variations using the molecular markers mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase c subunit 1 (COI) gene and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) rDNA regions. The phylogenetic analysis indicated that Eustrongylides species are divided into 3 well-supported clades. The ITS divergence between the clades suggested that clades 2 and 3 might represent the same species, whereas clade 1 represent another cryptic species. The host specificity of these nematodes was analyzed according to prevalence data, host range, and phylogenetic information. Clade 1 was found in 4 fish species, i.e., Odontobutis obscurus, Silurus asotus, Culter mongolicus, and Acanthogobius flavimanus, but was predominant in the 2 perciform species, O. obscurus and A. flavimanus. Clade 2 was found in 3 fish species, Monopterus albus, Channa argus, and Channa asiatica, but was predominant in M. albus, reported to feed primarily on oligochaetes, the first intermediate host of Eustrongylides sp. Clade 3 was found in 9 species, but its low prevalence suggests accidental infection in all species. Although the larval nematode presented low host specificity, it exhibited some host preference.

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