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Genetic diversity among Trypanosoma vivax strains detected in naturally infected cattle in Nigeria based on ITS1 of rDNA and diagnostic antigen gene sequences


Trypanosoma vivax (sub-genus Duttonella) is largely responsible for non profitable livestock production in sub-Sahara Africa. In Nigeria, no study has addressed the molecular characteristic of T. vivax except Y486. Hence, we characterized and assessed the genetic diversity among T. vivax detected in naturally infected cattle in Nigeria using internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) of ribosoma DNA (rDNA) and diagnostic antigen gene (DAG) sequences. The length of ITS1 and DAG sequences range from 215–220 to 257–338 bp, respectively and the mean G–C contents were 60 and 61.5 %. Homology search revealed 93–99 and 95–100 % homologies to T. vivax DAG and ITS1 sequences from GenBank. Aligned sequences revealed both ITS1 rDNA and DAG to be less polymorphic but DAG sequences of the Y486 strain and its clone showed marked variation from autochthonous strains. Phylogenetic analysis yielded tree that grouped T. vivax ITS1rDNA gene and DAG sequences into two main clades each. Considering the ITI1 rDNA sequences, clade A contained autochthonous T. vivax within which the South American sequences clustered, clade B contained the sequences of T. vivax from East Africa. Analysis of DAG revealed that the clade A contains autochthonous T. vivax sequences but clade B contained the Y486 and its clones. In conclusion, the diagnostic antigen gene sequences of the T. vivax detected in this study may have undergone considerable gene recombination through time and suggests that more than one strain of T. vivax exist among cattle population in Nigeria.

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Financial support provided by the Educational Trust Fund of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Grant No. TETFUND-2010) and also thankful for the financial support by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY and Zoetis, Inc. Additional support by National Research Initiative Competitive Grant Program (Grant No. 2006-35205-16864) from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture; USDA-NIFA Research Agreements (Nos. 2009-65205-05635, 2010-34444-20729). We also thank the entire staff of the Department of Parasitology and Entomology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria for permission granted to use their laboratory facilities for part of this study, with special gratitude to Prof. I. A. Lawal and Dr. O.O. Okubanjo.

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Correspondence to Michael I. Takeet.

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Takeet, M.I., Fagbemi, B.O., Peters, S.O. et al. Genetic diversity among Trypanosoma vivax strains detected in naturally infected cattle in Nigeria based on ITS1 of rDNA and diagnostic antigen gene sequences. J Parasit Dis 41, 433–441 (2017).

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  • Diagnostic antigen gene
  • Internal transcribed space 1
  • Molecular characteristic
  • Nigeria
  • Trypanosoma vivax