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Parasitol Res. 2000 Dec;86(12):1008-13.

Characterization of four species of Trichuris (Nematoda: Enoplida) by their second internal transcribed spacer ribosomal DNA sequence.

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Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Sevilla University, Spain.


Adult worms of Trichuris ovis and T. globulosa were collected from Ovis aries (sheep) and Capra hircus (goats). T. suis was isolated from Sus scrofa domestica (swine) and T. leporis was isolated from Lepus europaeus (rabbits) in Spain. Genomic DNA was isolated and a ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) was amplified and sequenced using polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR) techniques. The ITS2 of T. ovis and T. globulosa was 407 nucleotides in length and had a GC content of about 62%. Furthermore, the ITS2 of T. suis and T. leporis was 534 and 418 nucleotides in length and had a GC content of about 64.8% and 62.4%, respectively. There was evidence of slight variation in the sequence within individuals of all species analyzed, indicating intraindividual variation in the sequence of different copies of the ribosomal DNA. Furthermore, low-level intraspecific variation was detected. Sequence analyses of ITS2 products of T. ovis and T. globulosa demonstrated no sequence difference between them. Nevertheless, differences were detected between the ITS2 sequences of T. suis, T. leporis, and T. ovis, indicating that Trichuris species can reliably be differentiated by their ITS2 sequences and PCR-linked restriction-fragment-length polymorphism (RFLP).

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