Abstract

On mainland China, liver flukes of Fasciola spp. (Digenea: Fasciolidae) can cause serious acute and chronic morbidity in numerous species of mammals such as sheep, goats, cattle, and humans. The objective of the present study was to examine the taxonomic identity of Fasciola species in Yunnan province by sequences of the first and second internal transcribed spacers (ITS-1 and ITS-2) of nuclear ribosomal DNA (rDNA). The ITS rDNA was amplified from 10 samples representing Fasciola species in cattle from 2 geographical locations in Yunnan Province, by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and the products were sequenced directly. The lengths of the ITS-1 and ITS-2 sequences were 422 and 361–362 base pairs, respectively, for all samples sequenced. Using ITS sequences, 2 Fasciola species were revealed, namely Fasciola hepatica and Fasciola gigantica. This is the first demonstration of F. gigantica in cattle in Yunnan Province, China using a molecular approach; our findings have implications for studying the population genetic characterization of the Chinese Fasciola species and for the prevention and control of Fasciola spp. in this province.

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