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Genetic variation within Taenia multiceps in Sardinia, Western Mediterranean (Italy)


Investigations were undertaken on Taenia multiceps to determine if genetic variation was present within the parasites of Sardinia (Italy). Forty samples were obtained from various locations of Sardinia and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) was extracted. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed on NADH dehydrogenase I (ND1) and cytochrome c subunit 1 (CO1) mitochondrial genes and amplicons were then sequenced and aligned with Bioedit software. Pairwise comparison between the ND1 sequences of the T. multiceps isolates showed differences ranging from 1.27 to 2.54% using an isolate obtained from Wales as an outgroup, while COI sequences showed within the samples coming from Sardinia a lesser degree of variability, ranging from 0.22 to 0.67%. Considering the two genes, it was possible to define at least three specific genetic variants in Sardinian samples, which we have termed Tm1, Tm2, and Tm3. This is the first description of genetic variability in T. multiceps. Further investigations will be required to understand to what extent the genetic variability described in this paper would be reflected also in phenotypic differences.

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This research was carried out with the valuable assistance of Mr. Mario S. Nieddu and Mrs. Francesca Bettini. The experiments of this research comply with the current laws of the country in which they were performed (Italy). Research funded with MIUR 2003 ex contributes 60%. Support from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council is acknowledged.

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Correspondence to A. Varcasia.

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Varcasia, A., Lightowlers, M.W., Cattoli, G. et al. Genetic variation within Taenia multiceps in Sardinia, Western Mediterranean (Italy). Parasitol Res 99, 622 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-006-0179-y

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  • NADH Dehydrogenase
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction Template
  • Coenurosis
  • Sardinian Sample
  • Genetic Intraspecific Variability