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Whipworms in humans and pigs: origins and demography

Hawash, MBF, Betson, M, Al-Jubury, A, Ketzis, J, LeeWillingham, A, Bertelsen, MF, Cooper, PJ, Littlewood, DTJ, Zhu, X-Q and Nejsum, P (2016) Whipworms in humans and pigs: origins and demography PARASITES & VECTORS, 9, ARTN 37.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Trichuris suis and T. trichiura are two different whipworm species that infect pigs and humans, respectively. T. suis is found in pigs worldwide while T. trichiura is responsible for nearly 460 million infections in people, mainly in areas of poor sanitation in tropical and subtropical areas. The evolutionary relationship and the historical factors responsible for this worldwide distribution are poorly understood. In this study, we aimed to reconstruct the demographic history of Trichuris in humans and pigs, the evolutionary origin of Trichuris in these hosts and factors responsible for parasite dispersal globally. METHODS: Parts of the mitochondrial nad1 and rrnL genes were sequenced followed by population genetic and phylogenetic analyses. Populations of Trichuris examined were recovered from humans (n = 31), pigs (n = 58) and non-human primates (n = 49) in different countries on different continents, namely Denmark, USA, Uganda, Ecuador, China and St. Kitts (Caribbean). Additional sequences available from GenBank were incorporated into the analyses. RESULTS: We found no differentiation between human-derived Trichuris in Uganda and the majority of the Trichuris samples from non-human primates suggesting a common African origin of the parasite, which then was transmitted to Asia and further to South America. On the other hand, there was no differentiation between pig-derived Trichuris from Europe and the New World suggesting dispersal relates to human activities by transporting pigs and their parasites through colonisation and trade. Evidence for recent pig transport from China to Ecuador and from Europe to Uganda was also observed from their parasites. In contrast, there was high genetic differentiation between the pig Trichuris in Denmark and China in concordance with the host genetics. CONCLUSIONS: We found evidence for an African origin of T. trichiura which were then transmitted with human ancestors to Asia and further to South America. A host shift to pigs may have occurred in Asia from where T. suis seems to have been transmitted globally by a combination of natural host dispersal and anthropogenic factors.

Item Type: Article
Subjects : Veterinary Medicine
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Hawash, MBFUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Betson, MUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Al-Jubury, AUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Ketzis, JUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
LeeWillingham, AUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Bertelsen, MFUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Cooper, PJUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Littlewood, DTJUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Zhu, X-QUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Nejsum, PUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 22 January 2016
Identification Number : 10.1186/s13071-016-1325-8
Uncontrolled Keywords : Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Parasitology, Whipworms, Trichuris, Humans, Pigs, Demographic history, Evolution, GENETIC-ANALYSIS, MITOCHONDRIAL GENOME, INTESTINAL PARASITES, POPULATION-GENETICS, TRICHURIS-TRICHIURA, HISTORY, INFECTION, ASCARIS, TRANSMISSION, EVOLUTIONARY
Related URLs :
Additional Information : © 2016 Hawash et al. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 16 Mar 2016 09:44
Last Modified : 16 Mar 2016 09:44
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/810232

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