Exploring the genetic diversity of Eimeria acervulina: A polymerase chain Reaction-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) approach
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Eimeria, protozoan parasites that can cause the disease coccidiosis, pose a persistent challenge to poultry production and welfare. Control is commonly achieved using good husbandry supplemented with routine chemoprophylaxis and/or live parasite vaccination, although widespread drug resistance and challenges to vaccine supply or cost can prove limiting. Extensive effort has been applied to develop subunit anticoccidial vaccines as scalable, cost-effective alternatives, but translation to the field will require a robust understanding of parasite diversity. Using a new Polymerase Chain Reaction-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) panel we begin to describe the genetic diversity of Eimeria acervulina populations in Africa and Europe. PCR-RFLP genotyping E. acervulina populations sampled from commercial broiler and layer chickens reared in Nigeria or the United Kingdom (UK) and Republic of Ireland (RoI) revealed comparable levels of haplotype diversity, in direct contrast to previous descriptions from the close relative E. tenella. Here, 25 distinct PCR-RFLP haplotypes were detected from a panel of 42 E. acervulina samples, including 0.7 and 0.5 haplotypes per sample in Nigeria (n = 20) and the UK/RoI (n = 14), respectively. All but six haplotypes were found to be country-specific. The PCRRFLP markers immune mapped protein 1 (IMP1) and heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) were most informative for Nigerian E. acervulina, while microneme protein 3 (MIC3) and HSP90 were most informative in UK/RoI populations. High haplotype diversity within E. acervulina populations may indicate frequent genetic exchange and potential for rapid dissemination of genetic material associated with escape from selective barriers such as anticoccidial drugs and future subunit vaccines.
Adeyemi O.; Quill A.; Morikone M.; Evans L.; Formoy C.; Idowu E.T.; Akinsanya B.; Jatau I.D.; Blake D.P. (2023). Exploring the genetic diversity of Eimeria acervulina: A polymerase chain Reaction-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) approach. Veterinary Parasitology 322, pp. 2-8.