The prevalence of cystic echinococcosis is high in many livestock areas of Peru, where intermediate hosts such as sheep, cattle, and South American camelids can be infected. Several species of E. granulosus have been described in relation to its genetic diversity and distribution. The aim of this study was to determine the species of E. granulosus sensu lato (s.l.) metacestodes collected from sheep, cattle, swine and camelids at different localities in the department of Puno, in the southern highlands of Peru. One hundred and fifty-two echinococcal cysts were collected from 10 different locations. E. granulosus s.l. species were determined by amplification of the Internal transcribed spacer 1 of the ribosomal DNA using a Nested PCR-RFLP technique. The cytochrome C oxidase 1 gene (450 bp) was also amplified and sequenced in samples with different RFLP patterns. Cysts samples were collected from sheep (39.5%), cattle (32.9%), pigs (15.8%) and alpacas/llamas (11.8%). E. granulosus sensu stricto (G1 genotype) was mainly identified in all animal hosts, while, the E. canadensis (G7) was only identified in cysts from pigs and alpacas. This is the first report of E. granulosus sensu stricto and E. canadensis in llamas and alpacas, respectively. Knowledge of species and molecular epidemiology of E. granulosus s.l. in endemic areas in Peru may help to evaluate preventive programs, understand disease transmission, as well as improve vaccine and chemotherapy effectiveness.
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