Nigerian Journal of Parasitology

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Genetic relationship of Fasciola gigantica populations in Africa: Insight from mitochondrial cox 1 genes

A.A. Imasuen, A.O. Awharitoma, E.E. Enabulele


The liver fluke Fasciola gigantica is an important livestock parasite causing fascioliasis in Africa. Population genetics analysis of the mitochondrial cox1 genes of F. gigantica from seven African countries revealed two distinct genetic lineages with 41% nucleotide divergence. The first lineage comprised of populations from four countries (Egypt, Mauritania, Nigeria and Zambia) while the second lineage consisted of sequences from Niger, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Mismatch distribution analysis and neutrality tests revealed both F. gigantica lineages are in genetic equilibrium. There was also evidence of gene flow between the populations in the two lineages. The two distinct genetic lineages of F. gigantica identified may have implication for drug resistance in the treatment of fascioliasis.

Keywords: Fasciola gigantica; Africa; cox1; genetic diversity; molecular epidemiology.

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