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Research article2003Peer reviewed

Phylogeny of Dictyocaulus (lungworms) from eight species of ruminants based on analyses of ribosomal RNA data

Hoglund J, Morrison DA, Divina BP, Wilhelmsson E, Mattsson JG


In this study, we conducted phylogenetic analyses of nematode parasites within the genus Dictyocaulus (superfamily Trichostrongyloidea). Lungworms from cattle (Bos taurus), domestic sheep (Ovis aries), European fallow deer (Dama dama), moose (Alces alces), musk ox (Ovibos moschatus), red deer (Cervus elaphus), reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) and roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) were obtained and their small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU) and internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) sequences analysed. In the hosts examined we identified D. capreolus, D. eckerti, D. filaria and D. viviparus. However, in fallow deer we detected a taxon with unique SSU and ITS2 sequences. The phylogenetic position of this taxon based on the SSU sequences shows that it is a separate evolutionary lineage from the other recognized species of Dictyocaulus. Furthermore, the analysis of the ITS2 sequence data indicates that it is as genetically distinct as are the named species of Dictyocaulus. Therefore, either this taxon needs to be recognized as a new species, or D. capreolus, D. eckerti and D. viviparus need to be combined into a single species. Traditionally, the genus Dictyocaulus has been placed as a separate family within the superfamily Trichostrongyloidea. The present molecular phylogenetic analyses support the placement as a separate family, but the current data do not support the placement of the Dictyocaulidae within the Trichostrongyloidea without a reassessment of the placement of the superfamily Strongyloidea. While D. eckerti has been regarded as the one and only lungworm species of cervids, this study showed that 4 host species including 3 members of Cervidae (moose, reindeer, red deer) and 1 Bovidae (musk ox) were infected with this parasite. Host ranges of D. viviparus (cattle), D. filaria (sheep) and D. capreolus (moose and roe deer) were more restricted. No clear pattern of co-evolution between the dictyocaulid taxa and their bovid and cervid hosts could be determined

Published in

2003, Volume: 127, pages: 179-187