Applicability of molecular markers to determine parasitic infection origins in the animal trade: a case study from Sarcoptes mites in wildebeest
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The development of non-manipulative molecular tools to determine the origin of parasite infections in the animal trade (if infected before their export or import) is of great interest worldwide for both the animal trade industry and for animal welfare. Molecular tools have a wide range of applications, including forensic identification, wildlife preservation and conservation, veterinary public health protection, and food safety. Nonetheless, genetic markers were not reported to detect the source of infection in the animal trade. In this study we tested the applicability of molecular tools to detect the origin of Sarcoptes mite infection of wildebeest imported by the United Arab Emirate (UAE) from Tanzania. Using one multiplex of seven microsatellite markers and control samples from UAE, Kenya and Italy, we demonstrated the usefulness of the multiplex STR-typing as a molecular tool of pivotal interest to help commercialist, authorities, and conservationists, to identify the geographical origin of parasitic infections.