Population dynamics of the liver fluke, Fasciola hepatica: the effect of time and spatial separation on the genetic diversity of fluke populations in the Netherlands

Stephen Walker, Catherine Johnston, Elizabeth Hoey, Ian Fairweather, F. Borgsteede, C. Gaasenbeek, Paulo Prodöhl, Alan Trudgett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

An evaluation of the genetic diversity within Fasciola hepatica (liver fluke) may provide an insight into its potential to respond to environmental changes, such as anthelmintic use or climate change. In this study, we determined the mitochondrial DNA haplotypes of >400 flukes from 29 individual cattle, from 2 farms in the Netherlands, as an exemplar of fasciolosis in a European context. Analysis of this dataset has provided us with a measure of the genetic variation within infrapopulations (individual hosts) and the diversity between infrapopulations within a herd of cattle. Temporal sampling from one farm allowed for the measurement of the stability of genetic variation at a single location, whilst the comparison between the two farms provided information on the variation in relation to distance and previous anthelmintic regimes. We showed that the liver fluke population in this region is predominantly linked to 2 distinct clades. Individual infrapopulations contain a leptokurtic distribution of genetically diverse flukes. The haplotypes present on a farm have been shown to change significantly over a relatively short time-period.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-223
Number of pages9
JournalParasitology
Volume128
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Infectious Diseases

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