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Mitochondrial diversity and phylogeographic analysis of Pediculus humanus reveals a new Amazonian clade “F”

Abstract : Pediculus humanus is an obligate and highly intimate bloodsucking insect parasite of humans that has two ecotypes, head louse and body louse. This study analyzed genetic diversity at three mitochondrial genes (cy-tochrome b [cytb], cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 [cox1] and 12S ribosomal RNA [12S]) in 98 head lice collected from an isolated Native American population from the Wayampi community in Trois-Sauts, French Guiana. These results are integrated with all prior data of P. humanus (1402 cytb, 743 cox1 and 344 12S) from other parts of the world. The phylogenetic analysis revealed six highly divergent and well-supported monophyletic clades. Five clades corresponded to the previously recognized mitochondrial clades A, D, B, C and E, while the sixth (clade F) was novel, as it exhibited 5.4%, 3.7% and 3.6% divergence at cytb, cox1 and 12S, respectively, from its nearest neighbor clade B. Interestingly, the clade F has only been recovered in a few lice sequences from Mexico and Argentina, while it was the most common lineage in the Amazonian lice, which hints its association with the Native American region. Furthermore, Pediculus mjobergi, a New World monkeys' louse, which is thought to be transmitted to monkeys from the first humans that had reached the American continent thousands of years ago, also belonged to this clade, suggesting that this louse may not be a separate species but an evolutionary lineage of P. humanus. The discovery of new Amazonian clade F with the recovery of additional haplotypes within each of the five clades demonstrates that the levels of genetic diversity in P. humanus are higher than previously thought.
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Submitted on : Friday, April 10, 2020 - 3:01:13 PM
Last modification on : Friday, April 10, 2020 - 3:01:13 PM

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Nadia Amanzougaghene, Florence Fenollar, Bernard Davoust, Félix Djossou, Muhammad Ashfaq, et al.. Mitochondrial diversity and phylogeographic analysis of Pediculus humanus reveals a new Amazonian clade “F”. Infection, Genetics and Evolution, Elsevier, 2019, 70, pp.1-8. ⟨10.1016/j.meegid.2019.02.006⟩. ⟨hal-02243787⟩

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