Fish trypanosomes have traditionally been classified according to the host species from which they were isolated, each isolate being regarded as a distinct species. To test the soundness of this practice, the genetic variabilities of the kinetoplast 12S rRNA-encoding genes of different fish trypanosomes isolates were compared. The DNAs were extracted from trypanosomes cloned from blood samples of 15 donors representing ten different fish species in four orders from waters of three major river systems of Central and Northern Europe. Comparison with other trypanosomatid sequences revealed that the fish trypanosomes form a monophyletic group with Trypanosoma brucei as a sister group. Pairwise comparisons of genetic distances yielded a wide range of continuous variation with no indication of any discontinuities attributable to barriers to gene flow. The genetic distances did not correlate with either the identity of the host species or geography. The host specificity of fish trypanosomes appears to be limited.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology|
|State||Published - 1999|
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