Echinococcus granulosus strain typing in North Africa: comparison of eight nuclear and mitochondrial DNA fragments

J.-M. BART a1c1, K. BARDONNET a1, M. C. B. ELFEGOUN a2, H. DUMON a3, L. DIA a4, D. A. VUITTON a1 and R. PIARROUX a1
a1 Santé Environnement Rural Franche-Comté and WHO Centre Collaborating for Prevention and Treatment of Human Echinococcosis, University of Franche-Comté, 25000 Besançon, France
a2 Laboratory of Parasitology, Veterinary Department, University of Mentouri, Constantine, Algeria
a3 Parasitology and Mycology Department, ‘La Timone’ Hospital, 13 385 Marseille
a4 National Center for Veterinary Studies and Research (CNERV), Nouakchott, Mauritania

Article author query
bart j-m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
bardonnet k   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
elfegoun m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
dumon h   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
dia l   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
vuitton d   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
piarroux r   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Recent studies of Echinococcus granulosus molecular strain typing have enabled a better understanding of the transmission cycle of cystic echinococcosis. There have been many publications in this area but there is a need for the evaluation of these tools. We have attempted to respond to this need in our study, which assessed 8 DNA fragments of 40 E. granulosus cysts from North Africa. Parasitological material was collected from 5 types of intermediate hosts, in 5 different countries. The primers chosen to amplify DNA targets were defined either in nuclear DNA, or in mitochondrial DNA. After amplification, PCR products were sequenced. The sequences obtained were aligned and comparisons were made within the group and with GenBank sequences. Whether the target was nuclear or mitochondrial, the same 2 main groups of genotypes were found. The first one, the ‘sheep’ strain, was found in the human, sheep and cattle samples collected in North Africa. The second one, the ‘camel’ strain, was found in the camel cysts and cattle and human cysts from Mauritania. These findings further confirm the congruence of the data given by the nuclear and the mitochondrial genome.

(Received June 3 2003)
(Revised July 30 2003)
(Revised August 18 2003)
(Accepted August 18 2003)

Key Words: Echinococcus granulosus; molecular strain typing; nuclear target; mitochondrial target.

c1 Laboratoire de Parasitologie, Equipe de Recherche SERF, Faculté Médicine – Pharmacie,, 19 rue Ambroise Paré, 25000 Besançon, France. Tel: +33 3 63 082236. E-mail: