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Evolutionary history of trypanosomes from South American caiman (Caiman yacare) and African crocodiles inferred by phylogenetic analyses using SSU rDNA and gGAPDH genes

  • L. B. VIOLA (a1), R. S. ALMEIDA (a2), R. C. FERREIRA (a1), M. CAMPANER (a1), C. S. A. TAKATA (a1), A. C. RODRIGUES (a1), F. PAIVA (a2), E. P. CAMARGO (a1) and M. M. G. TEIXEIRA (a1)...


In this study, using a combined data set of SSU rDNA and gGAPDH gene sequences, we provide phylogenetic evidence that supports clustering of crocodilian trypanosomes from the Brazilian Caiman yacare (Alligatoridae) and Trypanosoma grayi, a species that circulates between African crocodiles (Crocodilydae) and tsetse flies. In a survey of trypanosomes in Caiman yacare from the Brazilian Pantanal, the prevalence of trypanosome infection was 35% as determined by microhaematocrit and haemoculture, and 9 cultures were obtained. The morphology of trypomastigotes from caiman blood and tissue imprints was compared with those described for other crocodilian trypanosomes. Differences in morphology and growth behaviour of caiman trypanosomes were corroborated by molecular polymorphism that revealed 2 genotypes. Eight isolates were ascribed to genotype Cay01 and 1 to genotype Cay02. Phylogenetic inferences based on concatenated SSU rDNA and gGAPDH sequences showed that caiman isolates are closely related to T. grayi, constituting a well-supported monophyletic assemblage (clade T. grayi). Divergence time estimates based on clade composition, and biogeographical and geological events were used to discuss the relationships between the evolutionary histories of crocodilian trypanosomes and their hosts.


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*Corresponding author: Departamento de Parasitologia, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, 05508-900, Brasil. Tel: +55 11 3091 7268. Fax: +55 11 3091 7417. E-mail:


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Evolutionary history of trypanosomes from South American caiman (Caiman yacare) and African crocodiles inferred by phylogenetic analyses using SSU rDNA and gGAPDH genes

  • L. B. VIOLA (a1), R. S. ALMEIDA (a2), R. C. FERREIRA (a1), M. CAMPANER (a1), C. S. A. TAKATA (a1), A. C. RODRIGUES (a1), F. PAIVA (a2), E. P. CAMARGO (a1) and M. M. G. TEIXEIRA (a1)...


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