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Loads of trematodes: discovering hidden diversity of paramphistomoids in Kenyan ruminants

  • MARTINA R. LAIDEMITT (a1), EVA T. ZAWADZKI (a1), SARA V. BRANT (a1), MARTIN W. MUTUKU (a2), GERALD M. MKOJI (a2) and ERIC S. LOKER (a1)...

Summary

Paramphistomoids are ubiquitous and widespread digeneans that infect a diverse range of definitive hosts, being particularly speciose in ruminants. We collected adult worms from cattle, goats and sheep from slaughterhouses, and cercariae from freshwater snails from ten localities in Central and West Kenya. We sequenced cox1 (690 bp) and internal transcribed region 2 (ITS2) (385 bp) genes from a small piece of 79 different adult worms and stained and mounted the remaining worm bodies for comparisons with available descriptions. We also sequenced cox1 and ITS2 from 41 cercariae/rediae samples collected from four different genera of planorbid snails. Combining morphological observations, host use information, genetic distance values and phylogenetic methods, we delineated 16 distinct clades of paramphistomoids. For four of the 16 clades, sequences from adult worms and cercariae/rediae matched, providing an independent assessment for their life cycles. Much work is yet to be done to resolve fully the relationships among paramphistomoids, but some correspondence between sequence- and anatomically based classifications were noted. Paramphistomoids of domestic ruminants provide one of the most abundant sources of parasitic flatworm biomass, and because of the predilection of several species use Bulinus and Biomphalaria snail hosts, have interesting linkages with the biology of animal and human schistosomes to in Africa.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Center for Evolutionary and Theoretical Immunology, University of New Mexico, Department of Biology, 167 Castetter MSCO3 2020, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131, USA. E-mail: mlaidemitt@unm.edu

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