Phylogeography of Angiostrongylus cantonensis (Nematoda: Angiostrongylidae) in southern China and some surrounding areas

Jian Peng, Zhang Ping He, Shuai Zhang, Zhao Rong Lun, Zhong Dao Wu, Chia Kwung Fan, Christopher L. Brown, Po Ching Cheng, Shih Yi Peng, Ting Bao Yang

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Angiostrongylus cantonensis is of increasing public health importance as the main zoonotic pathogen causing eosinophilic meningitis or meningoencephalitis, which has been documented all over the world. However, there are very limited studies about its phylogeography and spread pattern. In the present study, the phylogeography of A. cantonensis in southern China (including Taiwan) and partial areas of Southeast Asia were studied based on the sequences of complete mitochondrial cytochrome b (Cytb) gene. A total of 520 individuals of A. cantonensis obtained from 13 localities were sequenced for the analyses and grouped into 42 defined haplotypes. The phylogenetic tree (NJ tree and BI tree) revealed a characteristic distribution pattern of the four main lineages, with detectable geographic structure. Genetic differentiation among populations was significant, but demographic expansion could not be detected by either neutrality tests or mismatch distribution analysis, which implied a low gene flow among the local populations in different regions where the samples were collected. Two unique lineages of the A. cantonensis population in Taiwan were detected, which suggests its multiple origin in the island. Populations in Hekou (China) and Laos showed the highest genetic diversities, which were supported by both genetic diversity indices and AMOVA. These results together infer that the area around Thailand or Hekou in Yunnan province, China are the most likely origins of Angiostrongylus cantonensis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0005776
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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