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      Phylogenetic relationships among Toxocara spp. and Toxascaris sp. from different regions of the world

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          Molecular prospecting for cryptic species of nematodes: mitochondrial DNA versus internal transcribed spacer.

          DNA sequence divergence at internal transcribed spacer regions (ITS-1 and ITS-2) was compared with divergence at mitochondrial cox1 or nad4 loci in pairs of congeneric nematode species. Mitochondrial sequences accumulate substitutions much more quickly than internal transcribed spacer, the difference being most striking in the most closely related species pairs. Thus, mitochondrial DNA may be the best choice for applications in which one is using sequence data on small numbers of individuals to search for potential cryptic species. On the other hand, internal transcribed spacer remains an excellent tool for DNA diagnostics (quickly distinguishing between known species) owing to its lower level of intraspecific polymorphism.
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            Human toxocariasis.

            Parasitic nematodes of the genus Toxocara are socioeconomically important zoonotic pathogens. These parasites are usually directly transmitted to the human host via the faecal-oral route and can cause toxocariasis and associated complications, including allergic and neurological disorders. Although tens of millions of people are estimated to be exposed to or infected with Toxocara spp, global epidemiological information on the relationship between seropositivity and toxocariasis is limited. Recent findings suggest that the effect of toxocariasis on human health is increasing in some countries. Here we review the salient background on Toxocara and biology, summarise key aspects of the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of toxocariasis, describe what is known about its geographic distribution and prevalence, and make some recommendations for future research towards the prevention and control of this important disease.
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              Substitution bias, rapid saturation, and the use of mtDNA for nematode systematics.

              Only relatively recently have researchers turned to molecular methods for nematode phylogeny reconstruction. Thus, we lack the extensive literature on evolutionary patterns and phylogenetic usefulness of different DNA regions for nematodes that exists for other taxa. Here, we examine the usefulness of mtDNA for nematode phylogeny reconstruction and provide data that can be used for a priori character weighting or for parameter specification in models of sequence evolution. We estimated the substitution pattern for the mitochondrial ND4 gene from intraspecific comparisons in four species of parasitic nematodes from the family Trichostrongylidae (38-50 sequences per species). The resulting pattern suggests a strong mutational bias toward A and T, and a lower transition/transversion ratio than is typically observed in other taxa. We also present information on the relative rates of substitution at first, second, and third codon positions and on relative rates of saturation of different types of substitutions in comparisons ranging from intraspecific to interordinal. Silent sites saturate extremely quickly, presumably owing to the substitution bias and, perhaps, to an accelerated mutation rate. Results emphasize the importance of using only the most closely related sequences in order to infer patterns of substitution accurately for nematodes or for other taxa having strongly composition-biased DNA. ND4 also shows high amino acid polymorphism at both the intra- and interspecific levels, and in higher level comparisons, there is evidence of saturation at variable amino acid sites. In general, we recommend using mtDNA coding genes only for phylogenetics of relatively closely related nematode species and, even then, using only nonsynonymous substitutions and the more conserved mitochondrial genes (e.g., cytochrome oxidases). On the other hand, the high substitution rate in genes such as ND4 should make them excellent for population genetics studies, identifying cryptic species, and resolving relationships among closely related congeners when other markers show insufficient variation.
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                Author and article information

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                Journal
                Veterinary Parasitology
                Veterinary Parasitology
                Elsevier BV
                03044017
                June 2020
                June 2020
                : 282
                : 109133
                Article
                10.1016/j.vetpar.2020.109133
                © 2020

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