Parasitology



Review Article

Insights into the epidemiology and genetic make-up of Oesophagostomum bifurcum from human and non-human primates using molecular tools


R. B. GASSER a1a2c1, J. M. de GRUIJTER a1a3 and A. M. POLDERMAN a3
a1 Department of Veterinary Science, The University of Melbourne, 250 Princes Highway, Werribee, Victoria 3030, Australia
a2 Biotechnology Research Institute, Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales 2109, Australia
a3 Department of Parasitology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, PO Box 9605, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands

Article author query
gasser rb   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
gruijter jm   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
polderman am   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Abstract

The nodule worm Oesophagostomum bifurcum (Nematoda: Strongylida) is a parasite of major human health importance predominantly in northern Togo and Ghana. Currently, it is estimated that 0·25 million people are infected with this nematode, and at least 1 million people are at risk of infection. Infection with this parasite causes significant disease as a consequence of encysted larvae in the wall of the large intestine. In spite of the health problems caused by O. bifurcum, there have been significant gaps in the knowledge of the biology, transmission and population genetics of the parasite. This review provides an account of some recent insights into the epidemiology and genetics of the parasite from human and non-human primate hosts in specific regions of Africa using molecular tools. Recent research findings are discussed mainly in relation to non-human primates being reservoirs of infection, and the consequences for the prevention and control of oesophagostomiasis in humans are briefly discussed.

(Received August 7 2005)
(Revised August 22 2005)
(Revised October 13 2005)
(Accepted October 14 2005)
(December 7 2005)


Key Words: Oesophagostomum bifurcum; oesophagostomiasis; human; diagnosis; molecular tools; genetics; epidemiology; control.

Correspondence:
c1 Department of Veterinary Science, The University of Melbourne, 250 Princes Highway, Werribee, Victoria 3030, Australia. Fax: +61 3 97412366. E-mail: robinbg@unimelb.edu.au


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