Ascaris infections in humans from North America: Molecular evidence for cross-infection

T. J.C. Anderson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    129 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Cases of human Ascaris infection occur sporadically in areas such as N. America and Western Europe, where this parasite is thought to be non-endemic. Clinical case histories suggest that many of these cases may be cross-infections from pigs. I describe patterns of variation in the ribosomal DNA of Ascaris from 9 such cases. For comparative purposes, I also describe patterns of variation in parasites obtained from pigs and humans from worldwide locations. A Hae III restriction site distinguishes two classes of rDNA repeats; repeats bearing this restriction site were found in > 96 % of parasites from pig populations worldwide and in all 9 worms from humans in N. America. In contrast, repeats bearing this restriction site were detected in < 2 % of parasites from humans in endemic areas. The molecular data clearly incriminate pigs as the source of infection in the N. American cases. I discuss evolutionary and public health implications of incomplete host fidelity in Ascaris.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)215-219
    Number of pages5
    JournalParasitology
    Volume110
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Feb 1995

    Keywords

    • Ascaris
    • humans
    • pigs
    • ribosomal DNA

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Parasitology
    • Animal Science and Zoology
    • Infectious Diseases

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