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Molecular characterization of nodule worm in a community of Bornean primates

Frias, Liesbeth, Stark, Danica J., Salgado Lynn, Milena, Nathan, Senthilvel, Goossens, Benoit ORCID:, Okamoto, Munehiro and MacIntosh, Andrew J. J. 2019. Molecular characterization of nodule worm in a community of Bornean primates. Ecology and Evolution 9 (7) , pp. 3937-3945. 10.1002/ece3.5022

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Strongyles are commonly reported parasites in studies of primate parasite biodiversity. Among them, nodule worm species are often overlooked as a serious concern despite having been observed to cause serious disease in nonhuman primates and humans. In this study, we investigated whether strongyles found in Bornean primates are the nodule worm Oesophagostomum spp., and to what extent these parasites are shared among members of the community. To test this, we propose two hypotheses that use the parasite genetic structure to infer transmission processes within the community. In the first scenario, the absence of parasite genetic substructuring would reflect high levels of parasite transmission among primate hosts, as primates’ home ranges overlap in the study area. In the second scenario, the presence of parasite substructuring would suggest cryptic diversity within the parasite genus and the existence of phylogenetic barriers to cross‐species transmission. By using molecular markers, we identify strongyles infecting this primate community as O. aculeatum, the only species of nodule worm currently known to infect Asian nonhuman primates. Furthermore, the little to no genetic substructuring supports a scenario with no phylogenetic barriers to transmission and where host movements across the landscape would enable gene flow between host populations. This work shows that the parasite's high adaptability could act as a buffer against local parasite extinctions. Surveys targeting human populations living in close proximity to nonhuman primates could help clarify whether this species of nodule worm presents the zoonotic potential found in the other two species infecting African nonhuman primates

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Wiley Open Access
ISSN: 2045-7758
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 6 March 2019
Date of Acceptance: 5 March 2019
Last Modified: 07 May 2023 22:04

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