Wolbachia sp. was first reported in filarial nematodes over 25 yr ago. Today, much research is focused on the role of these bacteria in filarial worm biology. The filarial symbionts are closely related to arthropod symbionts, which are known to modify host reproduction and biology through various mechanisms. Similarly, it has been suggested that Wolbachia sp. is essential for long-term survival and reproduction of filariae. We report that Wolbachia sp. 16S rDNA was not found in the equine filarial nematode Setaria equina, using either polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or DNA hybridization. In addition, ultrastructural analysis of adult worms did not reveal the presence of Wolbachia sp. in hypodermal cords or reproductive tissues. These data suggest that like Onchocerca flexuosa and Acanthocheilonema vitae, S. equina may not be dependent on Wolbachia sp. for survival.
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