Cattle and yak hypodermosis in China is caused by Hypoderma bovis and H. lineatum, with a prevalence reaching up to 98–100% of the animals and maximum intensities exceeding 400 warbles for each animal. A third species, H. sinense, is also considered by Chinese researchers to affect livestock. The molecular characterization of the most variable region of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I gene and of the ribosomal 28S gene has been performed for the third-stage larvae collected from cattle and yaks in China and identified (on the basis of the spinulation on the ventral side of the 10th segment) as H. bovis, H. lineatum, and H. sinense. Amplicons were digested with the HinfI and BfaI restriction enzymes, which provided diagnostic profiles to simultaneously differentiate the 3 Hypoderma species. Third-stage larvae of H. sinense were also examined by scanning electron microscopy, which revealed proper morphological characteristics different from those of H. bovis and H. lineatum. The molecular and morphological evidence herein reported support the existence of a third species of Hypoderma affecting cattle and yaks in China, and the results provide new tools for unequivocal identification of this species and present key components for the evaluation of its endogenous cycle and pathogenicity in animals and humans.

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