David A. Relman

Publication Details

  • Sequence variability in the first internal transcribed spacer region within and among Cyclospora species is consistent with polyparasitism INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR PARASITOLOGY Olivier, C., van de Pas, S., Lepp, P. W., Yoder, K., Relman, D. A. 2001; 31 (13): 1475-1487


    Cyclospora cayetanensis is a coccidian parasite which causes severe gastroenteritis in humans. Molecular information on this newly emerging pathogen is scarce. Our objectives were to assess genetic variation within and between human-associated C. cayetanensis and baboon-associated Cyclospora papionis by examining the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of the ribosomal RNA operon, and to develop an efficient polymerase chain reaction- (PCR)-based method to distinguish C. cayetanensis from other closely related organisms. For these purposes, we studied C. cayetanensis ITS-1 nucleotide variability in 24 human faecal samples from five geographic locations and C. papionis ITS-1 variability in four baboon faecal samples from Tanzania. In addition, a continuous sequence encompassing ITS-1, 5.8S rDNA and ITS-2 was determined from two C. cayetanensis samples. The results indicate that C. cayetanensis and C. papionis have distinct ITS-1 sequences, but identical 5.8S rDNA sequences. ITS-1 is highly variable within and between samples, but variability does not correlate with geographic origin of the samples. Despite this variability, conserved species-specific ITS-1 sequences were identified and a single-round, C. cayetanensis-specific PCR-based assay with a sensitivity of one to ten oocysts was developed. This consistent and remarkable diversity among Cyclospora spp. ITS-1 sequences argues for polyparasitism and simultaneous transmission of multiple strains.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000171912800010

    View details for PubMedID 11595235

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