Molecular genetic diversity of Gongylonema neoplasticum (Fibiger & Ditlevsen, 1914) (Spirurida: Gongylonematidae) from rodents in Southeast Asia
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More than a dozen Gongylonema spp. (Spirurida: Spiruroidea: Gongylonematidae) have been described from a variety of rodent hosts worldwide. Gongylonema neoplasticum (Fibiger & Ditlevsen, 1914), which dwells in the gastric mucosa of rats such as Rattus norvegicus (Berkenhout) and Rattus rattus (Linnaeus), is currently regarded as a cosmopolitan nematode in accordance with global dispersion of its definitive hosts beyond Asia. To facilitate the reliable specific differentiation of local rodent Gongylonema spp. from the cosmopolitan congener, the genetic characterisation of G. neoplasticum from Asian Rattus spp. in the original endemic area should be considered since the morphological identification of Gongylonema spp. is often difficult due to variations of critical phenotypical characters, e.g. spicule lengths and numbers of caudal papillae. In the present study, morphologically identified G. neoplasticum from 114 rats of seven species from Southeast Asia were selected from archived survey materials from almost 4,500 rodents: Thailand (58 rats), Cambodia (52 rats), Laos (three rats) and Philippines (one rat). In addition, several specimens from four rats in Indonesia were used in the study. Nucleotide sequences of the ribosomal RNA gene (rDNA) (5,649 bp) and the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene (cox1) (818 bp) were characterised. The rDNA showed little nucleotide variation, including the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions. The cox1 showed 24 haplotypes, with up to 15 (1.83%) nucleotide substitutions regardless of parasite origin. Considering that Rattus spp. have been shown to originate from the southern region of Asia and G. neoplasticum is their endogenous parasite, it is reasonable to propose that the present study covers a wide spectrum of the genetic diversity of G. neoplasticum, useful for both the molecular genetic speculation of the species and the molecular genetic differentiation of other local rodent Gongylonema spp. from the cosmopolitan congener.
This study was supported in part by JSPS KAKENHI grants (nos. 15K07722 and 15H05261) and Grant-in-Aid for International Collaboration Research in Asia 2016 from Heiwa Nakajima Foundation (HS).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All applicable institutional, national and international guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.
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