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Development of EST-derived microsatellite markers to investigate the population structure of sparganum — the causative agent of zoonotic sparganosis

  • Xi Zhang (a1), Xiu Hong (a1), Jiang Yang Duan (a1), Lu Lu Han (a1), Zi Yang Hong (a1), Peng Jiang (a1), Zhong Quan Wang (a1) and Jing Cui (a1)...


The plerocercoid (sparganum) of Spirometra erinaceieuropaei is the main aetiological agent of human sparganosis. To improve the current knowledge on S. erinaceieuropaei evolution, we performed multi-locus microsatellite typing of sparganum isolates from China for the first time. All available expressed sequence tag (EST) sequences for the Spirometra were downloaded from the GenBank. The identification and localization of microsatellites in ESTs was accomplished by MISA. Based on the selected microsatellites, the genetic structure of 64 sparganum isolates collected from 11 geographical locations in southwest China were investigated through principal component analysis, STRUCTURE analysis and neighbour-joining clustering. A total of 522 non-redundant ESTs containing 915 simple sequence repeats were identified from 12 481 ESTs screened. Five primer pairs were finally selected. Using these loci, a total of 12 alleles were detected in 64 sparganum isolates. Little variability was observed within each of geographical population, especially among isolates derived from Kunming of Yunnan (YN-KM) province. Both STRUCTURE analysis and the clustering analysis supported that two genotypes existed among the sparganum isolates from southwest China. In conclusion, five microsatellite markers were successfully developed, and sparganum population was observed to harbour low genetic variation, further investigation with deeper sampling was needed to elucidate the population structure.


Corresponding author

Authors for correspondence: Zhong Quan Wang, E-mail: and Jing Cui, E-mail:


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