Host specificity and phylogeny of Trichostrongylidae of domestic ruminants in the Guinea savannah of the Adamawa plateau in Cameroon
Gastro-intestinal tracts were examined from thirteen Gudali zebu cattle, ten goats and ten sheep from the Adamawa highland in Northern Cameroon. A total of 28,325 adult helminths were recovered from the abomasa, small and large intestines. Five trichostrongylid genera were identified by their morphology: Haemonchus, Trichostrongylus and Oesophagostomum were predominant in both cattle and small ruminants, whilst Cooperia was only found in cattle both in the abomasum and small intestines. The molecular species identification and the inference of their phylogenetic relationships was based on the analysis of the hypervariable region I of the small subunit 18S rDNA (SSU) and the Second Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS-2) of 408 adult trichostrongylid worms, which were PCR-amplified, sequenced, and compared with available database entries. Consistent with earlier findings, the SSU was invariable within the Haemonchus and Trichostrongylus genera, confirming the prior classification based on the morphology of the worms, but the ITS-2 was highly inter- and intraspecifically variable and thus allowed to distinguish individual species and to study the haplotype diversity within the different species. In cattle, we report for the first time in Cameroon co-infection with two species of Haemonchus (H. placei and H. similis), together with two species of Cooperia (C. punctata and C. pectinata) and one species of Trichostrongylus (T. axei). In goats and sheep, we found one highly polymorphic clade of Haemonchus contortus and two Trichostrongylus species (T. axei and T. colubriformis). When compared with other Trichostrongylidae from different regions of the world and wildlife, the analysis of haplotypes did not indicate any host and geographical isolation, but a very high haplotype diversity among H. contortus. These findings illustrate the complexity of trichostrongylid populations in domestic ruminants and suggest grazing overlap between domestic and wildlife hosts.
Use and reproduction:
All rights reserved