Open Access
Vet. Res.
Volume 37, Number 5, September-October 2006
Page(s) 683 - 694
Published online 17 June 2006
How to cite this article Vet. Res. (2006) 683-694
Vet. Res. 37 (2006) 683-694
DOI: 10.1051/vetres:2006030

Spiculopteragia mathevossiani Ruchliadev, 1948 is the minor morph of Spiculopteragia spiculoptera (Gushanskaya, 1931): molecular evidence

Emmanuel Liénarda, b, Jérôme Depaquita and Hubert Fertéa

a  EA 3800, UFR de Pharmacie, 51 rue Cognacq-Jay, 51096 Reims, France
b  2C2A-CERFE, 08240 Boult-aux-Bois, France

(Received 4 November 2005; accepted 9 March 2006; published online 17 June 2006)

Abstract - Although Spiculopteragia spiculoptera is primarily a parasite of cervids, it can also but less often contaminate domestic livestock. Little is known about its epidemiology and its pathogenicity in domestic ruminants and other unusual cervid species. Its taxonomic status remains unclear since the hypothesis of morphological polymorphism among males has been proposed. However, accurate taxonomy is fundamental in the identification and survey of potentially pathogenic species of parasites. The second internal transcribed spacer of rDNA (ITS-2) and the mitochondrial (mt) DNA-derived ND4 gene were used to study the polymorphism hypothesis for S. spiculoptera. ND4 evolves more quickly than ITS-2 and is considered to be more discriminant in the characterization of closely related species. DNA sequences of ITS-2 and ND4 were studied in 18 individual males of morphological type spiculoptera and in 3 of morphological type of mathevossiani from Red deer (Cervus elaphus), Roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and Chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra). Intraindividual ITS-2 variations were detected within and between each morphotype of Spiculopteragia but these differences did not separate the two morphs mathevossiani and spiculoptera. Similarly, although ND4 showed a high level of nucleotide substitution, the morphotypes S. mathevossiani and S. spiculoptera were clustered together. Our genetic data support the dimorphic male hypothesis for the species S. spiculoptera.

Key words: mitochondrial DNA / second internal transcribed spacer (ITS-2) / Spiculopteragia spiculoptera  / Spiculopteragia mathevossiani / polymorphism

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© INRA, EDP Sciences 2006