Skip to main content Accessibility help

Angiostrongylus mackerrasae and A. cantonensis (Nematoda: Metastrongyloidea) belong to same genetic lineage: evidence from mitochondrial protein-coding genes

  • S.-L. Song (a1), H.-S. Yong (a2) and P. Eamsobhana (a3)


Angiostrongylus mackerrasae is a parasitic nematode of rats found in Australia. When first reported, it was referred to as A. cantonensis. Recent molecular studies, including the mitochondrial genome, indicate that it is highly similar to A. cantonensis. These studies did not include A. malaysiensis, another member of the A. cantonensis species complex, for comparison. The present study examined the genetic distance and phylogenetic relationship between the component taxa (A. cantonensis, A. mackerrasae and A. malaysiensis) of the A. cantonensis species complex, based on the 12 protein-coding genes (PCGs) of their mitochondrial genome. Both the nucleotide and amino acid sequences were analysed. Angiostrongylus mackerrasae and A. cantonensis are members of the same genetic lineage and both are genetically distinct from A. malaysiensis. The genetic distance based on concatenated nucleotide sequences of 12 mt-PCGs between A. mackerrasae and A. cantonensis from Thailand is p = 1.73%, while that between the Thai and Chinese taxa of A. cantonensis is p = 3.52%; the genetic distance between A. mackerrasae and A. cantonensis from China is p = 3.70%. The results indicate that A. mackerrasae and A. cantonensis belong to the same genetic lineage, and that A. mackerrasae may be conspecific with A. cantonensis. It remains to be resolved whether A. mackerrasae is conspecific with A. cantonensis or undergoing incipient speciation.


Corresponding author


Hide All
Aghazadeh, M. (2015) Molecular and pathological studies on Angiostrongylus species in southeast Queensland. PhD Thesis, University of Queensland.
Aghazadeh, M., Trau, R.J., Mohandas, N., Aland, K.V., Reid, S.A., McCarthy, J.S. & Jones, M.K. (2015) The mitochondrial genome of Angiostrongylus mackerrasae as a basis for molecular, epidemiological and population genetic studies. Parasites & Vectors 8, 473.
Bandelt, H.J., Forster, P. & Röhl, A. (1999) Median-joining networks for inferring intraspecific phylogenies. Molecular Biology and Evolution 16, 3748.
Chan, D., Barratt, J., Roberts, T., Lee, R., Shea, M., Marriott, D., Harkness, J., Malik, R., Jones, M., Aghazadeh, M., Ellis, J. & Stark, D. (2015) The prevalence of Angiostrongylus cantonensis/mackerrasae complex in molluscs from the Sydney Region. PLoS ONE 10, e0128128.
Cross, J.H. & Chen, E.R. (2007) Angiostrogyliasis. pp. 263290 in Murrel, K.D. & Fried, B. (Eds) Food borne parasitic zoonoses. New York, Springer.
Eamsobhana, P. (2014) The rat lungworm Angiostrongylus cantonensis: Parasitology, genetics and molecular phylogeny. 2nd edn. Bangkok, Aksorn Graphic and Design Publishing House.
Eamsobhana, P., Lim, P.E., Zhang, H., Gan, X. & Yong, H.S. (2010a) Molecular differentiation and phylogenetic relationships of three Angiostrongylus species and Angiostrongylus cantonensis isolates based on a 66 kDa protein gene of A. cantonensis (Nematoda: Angiostrongylidae). Experimental Parasitology 126, 564569.
Eamsobhana, P., Lim, P.E., Solano, G., Zhang, H., Gan, X. & Yong, H.S. (2010b) Molecular differentiation of Angiostrongylus taxa (Nematoda: Angiostrongylidae) by cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene sequences. Acta Tropica 116, 152156.
Eamsobhana, P., Lim, P.E. & Yong, H.S. (2015) Phylogenetics and systematics of Angiostrongylus lungworms and related taxa (Nematoda: Metastrongyloidea) inferred from the nuclear small subunit (SSU) ribosomal DNA sequences. Journal of Helminthology 89, 317325.
Eamsobhana, P., Yong, H.S., Prasartvit, A., Wanachiwanawin, D. & Boonyong, S. (2016) Geographical distribution and incidence of Angiostrongylus lungworms (Nematoda: Angiostrongylidae) and their rodent hosts in Thailand. Tropical Biomedicine 33, 3544.
Eamsobhana, P., Yong, H.S., Song, S.L., Prasartvit, A., Boonyong, S. & Tungtrongchitr, A. (2017a) Cytochrome c oxidase subunit I haplotype reveals high genetic diversity of Angiostrongylus malaysiensis (Nematoda: Angiostrongylidae). Journal of Helminthology. doi:10.1017/S0022149X17000244.
Eamsobhana, P., Song, S.L., Yong, H.S., Prasartvit, A., Boonyong, S. & Tangtrongchitr, A. (2017b) Cytochrome c oxidase subunit I haplotype diversity of Angiostrongylus cantonensis (Nematoda: Angiostrongylidae). Acta Tropica 171, 141145.
Kumar, S., Stecher, G. & Tamura, K. (2016) MEGA7: Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis version 7.0 for bigger datasets. Molecular Biology and Evolution 33, 18701874.
Lim, B.L., Ow-Yang, C.K. & Lie, K.J. (1965) Natural infection of Angiostrongylus cantonensis in Malaysian rodents and intermediate hosts: and preliminary observations on acquired resistance. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 14, 610617.
Mackerras, M.J. & Sandars, D.F. (1954) Life history of the rat lungworm and its migration through the brain of its host. Nature 173, 956957.
Mackerras, M.J. & Sandars, D.F. (1955) The life history of the rat lung-worm Angiostrongylus cantonensis (Chen) (Nematoda: Metastrongylidae). Australian Journal of Zoology 3, 121.
Schacher, J.F. & Cheong, C.H. (1960) Nematode parasites: three common house rat species in Malaya, with notes on Rictularia tani Hoeppli, 1929. Studies of the Institute for Medical Research, Malaya 29, 209213.
Spratt, D.M. (2015) Species of Angiostrongylus (Nematoda: Metastrongyloidea) in wildlife: a review. International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife 4, 178189.
Yong, H.S. & Eamsobhana, P. (2013) Definitive rodent hosts of the rat lungworm Angiostrongylus cantonensis. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 29, 111115.
Yong, H.S., Eamsobhana, P., Song, S.L., Prasartvit, A. & Lim, P.E. (2015a) Molecular phylogeography of Angiostrongylus cantonensis (Nematoda: Angiostrongylidae) and genetic relationships with congeners using cytochrome b gene marker. Acta Tropica 148, 6671.
Yong, H.S., Song, S.L., Eamsobhana, P., Goh, S.Y., Lim, P.E. & Chow, W.L. (2015b) Mitochondrial genome supports sibling species of Angiostrongylus costaricensis (Nematoda: Angiostrongylidae). PLoS ONE 10, e0134581.
Yong, H.S., Song, S.L., Eamsobhana, P. & Lim, P.E. (2016) Complete mitochondrial genome of Angiostrongylus malaysiensis lungworm and molecular phylogeny of metastrongyloid nematodes. Acta Tropica 161, 3340.


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed