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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276On-line version ISSN 1678-8060


MORALES-HOJAS, Ramiro; CHEKE, Robert A  and  POST, Rory J. A preliminary analysis of the population genetics and molecular phylogenetics of Onchocerca volvulus (Nematoda: Filarioidea) using nuclear ribosomal second internal transcribed spacer sequences. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz [online]. 2007, vol.102, n.7, pp.879-882.  Epub Oct 30, 2007. ISSN 0074-0276.

Nuclear internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) rDNA sequences were used for a molecular phylogenetics analysis of five Onchocerca species. The sister species of the human parasite O. volvulus was found to be the cattle parasite O. ochengi and not O. gibsoni, contrary to chromosomal evidence. The genetic differentiation of two African populations (representing the two African strains) and a Brazilian population of O. volvulus was also studied. Phylogenetic and network reconstruction did not show any clustering of ITS2 alleles on geographic or strain grounds. Furthermore, population genetics tests showed no indication of population differentiation but suggested gene flow among the three populations.

Keywords : Onchocerca volvulus; onchocerciasis; strains; molecular phylogenetics; population differentiation.

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