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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 1992 Sep;54(2):165-73.

Genetic variants within the genus Echinococcus identified by mitochondrial DNA sequencing.

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Tropical Health Program, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Australia.


The pattern of species and strain variation within the genus Echinococcus is complex and controversial. In an attempt to characterise objectively the various species and strains, the sequence of a region of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (CO1) gene was determined for 56 Echinococcus isolates. Eleven different genotypes were detected, including 7 within Echinococcus granulosus, and these were used to categorise the isolates. The 4 generally accepted Echinococcus species were clearly distinguishable using this approach. In addition, the consensus view of the strain pattern within E. granulosus, based on a variety of criteria of differentiation, was broadly upheld. Very little variation was detected within Echinococcus multilocularis. Remarkable intra-strain homogeneity was found at the DNA sequence level. This region of the rapidly evolving mitochondrial genome is useful as a marker of species and strain identity and as a preliminary indication of evolutionary divergence within the genus Echinococcus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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