Molecular phylogenetic analysis of the genus Strongyloides and related nematodes

Mark Dorris, Mark E Viney, Mark L Blaxter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Strongyloides spp., parasitic nematodes of humans and many other terrestrial vertebrates, display an unusual heterogonic lifecycle involving alternating parasitic and free-living adult reproductive stages. A number of other genera have similar lifecycles, but their relationships to Strongyloides have not been clarified. We have inferred a phylogeny of 12 species of Strongyloides, Parastrongyloides, Rhabdias and Rhabditophanes using small subunit ribosomal RNA gene (SSU rDNA) sequences. The lineage leading to Strongyloides appears to have arisen within parasites of terrestrial invertebrates. Inferred lifecycle evolution was particularly dynamic within these nematodes. Importantly, the free-living Rhabditophanes sp. KR3021 is placed within a clade of parasitic taxa, suggesting that this species may represent a reversion to a non-parasitic lifecycle. Species within the genus Strongyloides are very closely related, despite the disparity of host species parasitised. The highly pathogenic human parasite Strongyloides fuelleborni kelleyi is not supported as a subspecies of the primate parasite S. fuelleborni fuelleborni, but is most likely derived from a local zoonotic source.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1507-17
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal For Parasitology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Helminth
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Formaldehyde
  • Genes, Helminth
  • Genetic Variation
  • Host-Parasite Interactions
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Ribosomal
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Strongyloides
  • Tissue Fixation
  • Vertebrates


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