Analysis of nad2 and nad5 enables reliable identification of genotypes G6 and G7 within the species complex Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato

Teivi Laurimäe, Liina Kinkar, Thomas Romig, Gérald Umhang, Adriano Casulli, Rihab A. Omer, Mitra Sharbatkhori, Hossein Mirhendi, Francisco Ponce-Gordo, Lorena E. Lazzarini, Silvia V. Soriano, Antonio Varcasia, Mohammad Rostami-Nejad, Vanesa Andresiuk, Pablo Maravilla, Luis Miguel González, Monika Dybicz, Jakub Gawor, Mindaugas Šarkūnas, Viliam ŠnábelTetiana Kuzmina, Eshrat Beigom Kia, Urmas Saarma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The larval stages of tapeworms in the species complex Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato cause a zoonotic disease known as cystic echinococcosis (CE). Within this species complex, genotypes G6 and G7 are among the most common genotypes associated with human CE cases worldwide. However, our understanding of ecology, biology and epidemiology of G6 and G7 is still limited. An essential first step towards this goal is correct genotype identification, but distinguishing genotypes G6 and G7 has been challenging. A recent analysis based on complete mitogenome data revealed that the conventional sequencing of the cox1 (366 bp) gene fragment mistakenly classified a subset of G7 samples as G6. On the other hand, sequencing complete mitogenomes is not practical if only genotype or haplogroup identification is needed. Therefore, a simpler and less costly method is required to distinguish genotypes G6 and G7. We compared 93 complete mitogenomes of G6 and G7 from a wide geographical range and demonstrate that a combination of nad2 (714 bp) and nad5 (680 bp) gene fragments would be the best option to distinguish G6 and G7. Moreover, this method allows assignment of G7 samples into haplogroups G7a and G7b. However, due to very high genetic variability of G6 and G7, we suggest to construct a phylogenetic network based on the nad2 and nad5 sequences in order to be absolutely sure in genotype assignment. For this we provide a reference dataset of 93 concatenated nad2 and nad5 sequences (1394 bp in total) containing representatives of G6 and G7 (and haplogroups G7a and G7b), which can be used for the reconstruction of phylogenetic networks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103941
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • Cystic echinococcosis
  • Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato
  • Genotype G6
  • Genotype G7
  • Genotype identification
  • Hydatid disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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