A sample of 114 isolates of Echinococcus granulosus (Cestoda: Taeniidae) collected from different host species and sites in Argentina has been sequenced for 391 bp from the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene to analyze genetic variability and population structure. Nine different haplotypes were identified, 5 of which correspond to already characterized strains. Analysis of molecular variance and nested clade analysis of the distribution of haplotypes among localities within 3 main geographic regions indicate that geographic differentiation accounts for the overall pattern of genetic variability in E. granulosus populations. Significant geographic differentiation is also present when the sheep strain alone is considered. Our results suggest that geographic patterns are not due to actual restricted gene flow between regions but are rather a consequence of past history, probably related to the time and origin of livestock introduction in Argentina.

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