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  • Author: R. Petrigh x
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Molecular identification of Nematodirus spathiger (Nematoda: Molineidae) in Lama guanicoe from Patagonia, Argentina


The guanaco (Lama guanicoe) is the major inhabitant and the largest wild artiodactyl in Patagonia. The introduction of invasive species into its ecological niche poses ecological risks, since invasive species may introduce harmful parasites to this native species. In this work, filariform larvae of the Nematodirus genus were found in feces of guanacos from the Perito Moreno National Park in Argentina. All species were characterized according to morphological features and molecular analyses using ribosomal DNA (rDNA). For the molecular analysis, rDNA fragments were amplified by PCR and then sequenced. The results of the BLASTN comparison threw a 99 % of identity with Nematodirus spathiger and 97 % with N. helvetianus, suggesting that N. spathiger is the infecting parasite. Nematodirus spathiger together with N. filicollis and N. battus causes diarrhea and deaths in sheep and, in some cases, in South American camelids. The availability of more accurate diagnostic methods such as PCR could improve the control measures for gastrointestinal helminthiasis.

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Research Note. Cox-1 gene sequence of Spirometra in Pampas foxes from Argentina


The parasites of the genus Spirometra belong to one of the twelve genera of the family Diphyllobothriidae, with several species of zoonotic importance whose definitive hosts are carnivorous mammals. In Argentina, few reports have described these parasites in wild carnivores. Morphological studies of the adult stage obtained from necropsy allow the distinction between Diphyllobothrium and Spirometra. A less invasive method of identification is the analysis of the parasite eggs; however, the morphometric similarities between close genera and species and alterations in egg preservation affect the identification. In Argentina, molecular tools have been used as a non-invasive and accurate method to increase the information about Spirometra and to improve its identification. In the present study, DNA was extracted from Spirometra eggs from Pampas foxes and a 450-bp fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome C oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene was sequenced. The sequence obtained, which is the first Spirometra DNA sequence from Argentina, was deposited at GenBank. Comparison by BLASTN analysis between the sequence obtained and the sequences from GenBank showed 93 % identity with S. proliferum and 89% with S. erinaceieuropaei.

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