Genetic diversity of the cestode Echinococcus multilocularis in red foxes at a continental scale in Europe

Knapp, J.; Bart, J.M.; Giraudoux, P.; Glowatzki, M.L.; Breyer, I.; Raoul, F.; Deplazes, P.; Duscher, G.; Martinek, K.; Dubinsky, P.; Guislain, M.H.; Cliquet, F.; Romig, T.; Malczewski, A.; Gottstein, B.; Piarroux, R. (2009). Genetic diversity of the cestode Echinococcus multilocularis in red foxes at a continental scale in Europe. PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 3(6), e452. San Francisco, Calif.: Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pntd.0000452

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BACKGROUND: Alveolar echinococcosis (AE) is a severe helminth disease affecting humans, which is caused by the fox tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis. AE represents a serious public health issue in larger regions of China, Siberia, and other regions in Asia. In Europe, a significant increase in prevalence since the 1990s is not only affecting the historically documented endemic area north of the Alps but more recently also neighbouring regions previously not known to be endemic. The genetic diversity of the parasite population and respective distribution in Europe have now been investigated in view of generating a fine-tuned map of parasite variants occurring in Europe. This approach may serve as a model to study the parasite at a worldwide level. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The genetic diversity of E. multilocularis was assessed based upon the tandemly repeated microsatellite marker EmsB in association with matching fox host geographical positions. Our study demonstrated a higher genetic diversity in the endemic areas north of the Alps when compared to other areas. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The study of the spatial distribution of E. multilocularis in Europe, based on 32 genetic clusters, suggests that Europe can be considered as a unique global focus of E. multilocularis, which can be schematically drawn as a central core located in Switzerland and Jura Swabe flanked by neighbouring regions where the parasite exhibits a lower genetic diversity. The transmission of the parasite into peripheral regions is governed by a "mainland-island" system. Moreover, the presence of similar genetic profiles in both zones indicated a founder event.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Parasitology

UniBE Contributor:

Gottstein, Bruno

ISSN:

1935-2727

Publisher:

Public Library of Science

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:25

Last Modified:

19 Jul 2018 16:06

Publisher DOI:

10.1371/journal.pntd.0000452

PubMed ID:

19513103

Web of Science ID:

000268401000014

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.38299

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/38299 (FactScience: 220955)

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