• Distinguishing Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto genotypes G1 and G3 with confidence: A practical guide.

      Kinkar, Liina; Laurimäe, Teivi; Acosta-Jamett, Gerardo; Andresiuk, Vanessa; Balkaya, Ibrahim; Casulli, Adriano; Gasser, Robin B; González, Luis Miguel; Haag, Karen L; Zait, Houria; et al. (2018-06-21)
      Cystic echinococcosis (CE), a zoonotic disease caused by tapeworms of the species complex Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato, represents a substantial global health and economic burden. Within this complex, E. granulosus sensu stricto (genotypes G1 and G3) is the most frequent causative agent of human CE. Currently, there is no fully reliable method for assigning samples to genotypes G1 and G3, as the commonly used mitochondrial cox1 and nad1 genes are not sufficiently consistent for the identification and differentiation of these genotypes. Thus, a new genetic assay is required for the accurate assignment of G1 and G3. Here we use a large dataset of near-complete mtDNA sequences (n = 303) to reveal the extent of genetic variation of G1 and G3 on a broad geographical scale and to identify reliable informative positions for G1 and G3. Based on extensive sampling and sequencing data, we developed a new method, that is simple and cost-effective, to designate samples to genotypes G1 and G3. We found that the nad5 is the best gene in mtDNA to differentiate between G1 and G3, and developed new primers for the analysis. Our results also highlight problems related to the commonly used cox1 and nad1. To guarantee consistent identification of G1 and G3, we suggest using the sequencing of the nad5 gene region (680 bp). This region contains six informative positions within a relatively short fragment of the mtDNA, allowing the differentiation of G1 and G3 with confidence. Our method offers clear advantages over the previous ones, providing a significantly more consistent means to distinguish G1 and G3 than the commonly used cox1 and nad1.
    • Global phylogeography and genetic diversity of the zoonotic tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto genotype G1.

      Kinkar, Liina; Laurimäe, Teivi; Acosta-Jamett, Gerardo; Andresiuk, Vanessa; Balkaya, Ibrahim; Casulli, Adriano; Gasser, Robin B; van der Giessen, Joke; González, Luis Miguel; Haag, Karen L; et al. (2018-05-19)
      Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto (s.s.) is the major cause of human cystic echinococcosis worldwide and is listed among the most severe parasitic diseases of humans. To date, numerous studies have investigated the genetic diversity and population structure of E. granulosus s.s. in various geographic regions. However, there has been no global study. Recently, using mitochondrial DNA, it was shown that E. granulosus s.s. G1 and G3 are distinct genotypes, but a larger dataset is required to confirm the distinction of these genotypes. The objectives of this study were to: (i) investigate the distinction of genotypes G1 and G3 using a large global dataset; and (ii) analyse the genetic diversity and phylogeography of genotype G1 on a global scale using near-complete mitogenome sequences. For this study, 222 globally distributed E. granulosus s.s. samples were used, of which 212 belonged to genotype G1 and 10 to G3. Using a total sequence length of 11,682 bp, we inferred phylogenetic networks for three datasets: E. granulosus s.s. (n = 222), G1 (n = 212) and human G1 samples (n = 41). In addition, the Bayesian phylogenetic and phylogeographic analyses were performed. The latter yielded several strongly supported diffusion routes of genotype G1 originating from Turkey, Tunisia and Argentina. We conclude that: (i) using a considerably larger dataset than employed previously, E. granulosus s.s. G1 and G3 are indeed distinct mitochondrial genotypes; (ii) the genetic diversity of E. granulosus s.s. G1 is high globally, with lower values in South America; and (iii) the complex phylogeographic patterns emerging from the phylogenetic and geographic analyses suggest that the current distribution of genotype G1 has been shaped by intensive animal trade.