Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2004Peer reviewed

Genetic diversity assessed by amplified fragment length polymorphism analysis of the parasitic nematode Dictyocaulus viviparus the lungworm of cattle

Hoglund J, Engstrom A, Morrison DA, Mattsson JG


We have examined the population genetic structure in a collection of nine isolates of the parasitic lungworm Dictyocaulus viviparus. Eight of the isolates were sampled from cattle in geographically separated farms throughout south-central Sweden, and one isolate was a laboratory strain that has been maintained in experimentally infected calves for almost four decades. A total of 72 worms were examined, with eight individual worms from the same individual host representing each isolate. The genetic variation as revealed by amplified fragment length polymorphism analysis using four selective primer combinations was high. Depending on the primer combination a total of 66-79 restriction fragments were amplified, with 26-44 peaks of similar complexity from each of the isolates. The heterozygosity within populations was relatively small, as were the population mutation and immigration rates, which seemed to be in neutral equilibrium. The genetic diversity was therefore reasonably well structured in the field; and the laboratory isolate was quite distinct from the field samples. There was no relationship between the patterns of genetic diversity and the geographical proximity of the farms. The estimates of heterozygosity were much larger and more consistent than those previously estimated for this nematode species using mitochondrial sequencing, and the genetic structuring was thus much less pronounced and the gene flow greater. We attribute these differences in estimation to the broader sampling of loci available using amplified fragment length polymorphism markers, which may therefore constitute a superior technique for the study of patterns of lungworm diversity. Furthemore, the data estimating gene flow for D. viviparus was less than previously reported for closely related species in North America. This might be related to different rates of movements of infected hosts. It seems likely that lungworm infections are rather persistent on different farms, and the sudden outbreaks of disease that can be observed with host movements are most likely to be related to the introduction of susceptible stock. (C) 2003 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

Published in

International Journal for Parasitology
2004, Volume: 34, number: 4, pages: 475-484