The population structure of the Cryptosporidium parvum population in Scotland: a complex picture

Liam J Morrison, Marianne E Mallon, Huw V Smith, Annette MacLeod, Lihua Xiao, Andy Tait

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

We genotyped 297 Scottish C. parvum samples using micro- and minisatellites. Treated as a single population, the population structure was epidemic. When regional populations were analysed, there was evidence of sub-population structure variations. This was dependent upon excluding sub-groups exhibiting significant genetic distance from the main population, implying genetic sub-structuring. We tested the hypothesis that these sub-groups originated outside the UK and demonstrated that one sub-group clustered with Peruvian samples. A geographically comprehensive panel of isolates would fully confirm this result. These data indicate limited sub-structuring within a small geographical area, but substantial sub-structuring over larger geographical distances. Host movement influences parasite diversity and population structure, evidenced by strong correlation (r(2) = 0.9686) between cattle movements and parasite diversity. Thus, the population structure of C. parvum is complex, with sub-populations differing in structure and being influenced by host movements, including the introduction of novel multilocus genotypes from geographically distinct regions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-9
Number of pages9
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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