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      Helminth parasites of howler and spider monkeys in Mexico: Insights into molecular diagnostic methods and their importance for zoonotic diseases and host conservation

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          Abstract

          The majority of the parasite assessments of New World primates have been conducted through the identification of the eggs found in faeces, though many species of parasites have very similar eggs, leaving uncertainty in the diagnosis. Here, we present the results of a parasite survey of the three species of primates distributed in Mexico, combining non-invasive sampling with molecular techniques via DNA extraction of the eggs found in the faeces. Mitochondrial and ribosomal DNA were employed for species identification and Bayesian phylogenetic analysis. Nine parasite taxa were found in the three primate species: the nematodes Trypanoxyuris minutus, T. multilabiatus, T. pigrae, T. atelis, T. atelophora, Strongyloides sp., unidentified Ancylostomatid, unidentified Ascarid, and the trematode Controrchis biliophilus. We were able to extract and amplify DNA from the eggs of the five species of Trypanoxyuris reported for Mexican primates, two morphologically different trematode eggs, and Strongyloides sp. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed that the two types of trematode eggs belong to Controrchis biliophilus, a member of the family Dicrocoeliidae. For Strongyloides sp., phylogenetic analysis and genetic divergence showed an association between our samples and S. fuelleborni; however, no species could be established due to the lack of more DNA sequences from Strongyloides sp. occurring in Neotropical primates. The use of molecular and phylogenetic methods could help to overcome the limitations imposed by traditional non-invasive sampling because eggs are primarily obtained from the faeces; however, its utility relies on the extant genetic library and the contributions that expand such library. The information presented here could serve as a basis for future research on primate parasitology, allowing a more accurate parasite diagnosis and a more precise evaluation of their zoonotic potential.

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          Highlights

          • Molecular diagnosis of parasites from Mexican primates through non-invasive sampling.

          • Phylogenetic analysis identified seven parasite species.

          • 28S a suitable marker for parasite DNA diagnosis.

          • Accurate parasite diagnosis crucial in wildlife conservation and management programs.

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          Most cited references 53

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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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            Identification of taeniid eggs in the faeces from carnivores based on multiplex PCR using targets in mitochondrial DNA.

            A multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was evaluated for the identification of morphologically indistinguishable eggs of the taeniid tapeworms from carnivores using primers targeting mitochondrial genes. The primers for Echinococcus multilocularis (amplicon size 395 bp) were species-specific as assessed by in silico analysis and in the PCR using well-defined control samples. The design of primers that specifically amplify DNA from E. granulosus or Taenia spp. was not possible. The primers designed for E. granulosus also amplified DNA (117 bp) from E. vogeli, and those designed for Taenia spp. amplified products (267 bp) from species of Mesocestoides, Dipylidium and Diphyllobothrium. Nevertheless, as our diagnostic approach includes the concentration of taeniid eggs by sequential sieving and flotation, followed by their morphological detection, this non-specificity has limited practical importance. Sequence analysis of the corresponding amplicon can identify most of the described E. granulosus genotypes. Taenia spp. can be identified by direct sequencing of the 267 bp amplicon, or, for most species, by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis. The multiplex PCR was readily able to detect 1 egg (estimated to contain 7000 targets, as determined by quantitative PCR). Having been validated using a panel of well-defined samples from carnivores with known infection status, this approach proved to be useful for the identification of taeniid eggs from both individual animals and for epidemiological studies.
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              Molecular ecology of parasites: elucidating ecological and microevolutionary processes.

              We review studies that have used molecular markers to address ecological and microevolutionary processes in parasites. Our goal is to highlight areas of research that may be of particular interest in relation to the parasitic lifestyle, and to draw attention to areas that require additional study. Topics include species identification, phylogeography, host specificity and speciation, population genetic structure, modes of reproduction and transmission patterns, and searching for loci under selection.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl
                Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl
                International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife
                Elsevier
                2213-2244
                20 April 2017
                August 2017
                20 April 2017
                : 6
                : 2
                : 76-84
                Affiliations
                [a ]Departamento de Zoología, Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, A. P. 70-153, C.P. 04510 México D.F., Mexico
                [b ]Posgrado en Ciencias Biológicas, Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico
                Author notes
                []Corresponding author. ppdleon@ 123456ib.unam.mx
                Article
                S2213-2244(16)30060-8
                10.1016/j.ijppaw.2017.04.001
                5403797
                © 2017 The Authors

                This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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