Detection of classic and cryptic Strongyloides genotypes by deep amplicon sequencing: A preliminary survey of dog and human specimens collected from remote Australian communities

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Journal Article
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 2019, 13 (8)
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© 2019 This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. Strongyloidiasis is caused by the human infective nematodes Strongyloides stercoralis, Strongyloides fuelleborni subsp. fuelleborni and Strongyloides fuelleborni subsp. kellyi. The zoonotic potential of S. stercoralis and the potential role of dogs in the maintenance of strongyloidiasis transmission has been a topic of interest and discussion for many years. In Australia, strongyloidiasis is prevalent in remote socioeconomically disadvantaged communities in the north of the continent. Being an isolated continent that has been separated from other regions for a long geological period, description of diversity of Australian Strongyloides genotypes adds to our understanding of the genetic diversity within the genus. Using PCR and amplicon sequencing (Illumina sequencing technology), we sequenced the Strongyloides SSU rDNA hyper-variable I and hyper-variable IV regions using Strongyloides-specific primers, and a fragment of the mtDNA cox1 gene using primers that are broadly specific for Strongyloides sp. and hookworms. These loci were amplified from DNA extracted from Australian human and dog faeces, and one human sputum sample. Using this approach, we confirm for the first time that potentially zoonotic S. stercoralis populations are present in Australia, suggesting that dogs represent a potential reservoir of human strongyloidiasis in remote Australian communities.
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