Morphological and molecular identification of Explanatum explanatum in domestic water buffalo in Pakistan

Umer Chaudhry, Bradley Van Paridon, Manigandan Lejeune, Muhammad Zubair Shabbir, Muhammad Imran Rashid, Kamran Ashraf, Shoaib Ashraf, John Gilleard, Neil Sargison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


More than 70 species of the family Paramphistomatidae, have been identified in ruminants in different parts of the world. Most are pathogenic, causing amphistomosis. Adult flukes of this Family have a predilection for the rumen, liver or bile duct of ruminants where they may cause damage to the epithelium. Identification of adult paramphistomes to the species level based on morphology alone requires specialized knowledge, whereas, molecular genetic marker analysis is more precise and transferable. In the present study, we performed both morphological and molecular characterisation of fifteen adult flukes collected from the liver of domesticated buffalo in the Punjab province of Pakistan. The morphology of five of these flukes was examined in detail and on this basis these were identified as either Explanatum explanatum or Explanatum bathycotyle. PCR and sequencing of the ITS-2 rDNA region from these 5 flukes, plus 10 others, revealed a single haplotype in all cases. This differed by just a single nucleotide polymorphism from a previously described E. explanatum ITS-2 rDNA sequence. Phylogenetic comparison of these E. explanatum ITS2-rDNA sequences with those from other Paramphistomatidae, Fasciola and Dicrocoelium species was performed to assesss within and between species variation and validate the use of ITS-2 rDNA as a robust species-specific marker for E. explanatum. This work provides a validated species-specific marker of E. explanatum and the first report of this parasite species from Pakistan.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-59
JournalVeterinary Parasitology: Regional Studies and Reports
Early online date4 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


  • Paramphistomatidae
  • E. explanatum
  • ITS2
  • molecular marker
  • molecular characterization


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