Veterinary parasitology

Sympatric species distribution, genetic diversity and population structure of Haemonchus isolates from domestic ruminants in Pakistan.

PMID 25468018


Haemonchus species are major gastro-intestinal parasites affecting ruminants across the world. The present study aimed to assess the sympatric species distribution, genetic diversity, population structure and frequency of β-tubulin isotype 1 alleles associated with benzimidazole resistance. Internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) sequences revealed three sympatric species of Haemonchus, H. contortus, H. placei and H. longistipes with 12 distinct genotypes circulating among ruminant hosts in Pakistan. High genetic variability was observed in Pakistani Haemonchus isolates at nicotine amide dehydrogenase subunit 4 (ND4) and cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI) gene loci. Intra-population diversity parameters were higher in H. contortus isolates than H. placei. Phylogenetic analysis of ND4 and COI sequences did not reveal clustering of haplotypes originating from a particular host indicating high rate of gene flow among Haemonchus parasites infecting sheep, goat and cattle in Pakistan. ND4 and COI haplotypes from Pakistan were compared to sequences of Haemonchus isolates from 11 countries to elucidate the population structure. Multidimensional scaling (MDS) plot of pairwise FST derived from 531 ND4 haplotypes revealed clustering together of H. contortus from Pakistan, China, Malaysia and Italy while the isolates from Yemen and United States were found to be genetically distinct. With respect to H. placei, isolates from Pakistan were found to be genetically differentiated from isolates of other countries. The tests for selective neutrality revealed negative D statistics and did not reveal significant deviations in Pakistani Haemonchus populations while significant deviation (P < 0.05) was observed in Brazilian and Chinese H. contortus populations. Median Joining (MJ) network of ND4 haplotypes revealed Yemenese H. contortus being closer to H. placei cluster. β-tubulin isotype 1 genotyping revealed 7.86% frequency of Y allele associated with benzimidazole resistance at F200Y locus in Pakistani Haemonchus isolates.