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1 November 2014 SNPs in Entire Mitochondrial Genome Sequences (≈15.4 kb) and cox1 Sequences (≈486 bp) Resolve Body and Head Lice from Doubly Infected People from Ethiopia, China, Nepal, and Iran But not France
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Abstract

Some people host lice on the clothing as well as the head. Whether body lice and head lice are distinct species or merely variants of the same species remains contentious. We sought to ascertain the extent to which lice from these different habitats might interbreed on doubly infected people by comparing their entire mitochondrial genome sequences. Toward this end, we analyzed two sets of published genetic data from double-infections of body lice and head lice: 1) entire mitochondrial coding regions (≈ 15.4 kb) from body lice and head lice from seven doubly infected people from Ethiopia, China, and France; and 2) part of the cox1 gene (≈486 bp) from body lice and head lice from a further nine doubly infected people from China, Nepal, and Iran. These mitochondrial data, from 65 lice, revealed extraordinary variation in the number of single nucleotide polymorphisms between the individual body lice and individual head lice of double-infections: from 1.096 kb of 15.4 kb (7.6%) to 2 bps of 15.4 kb (0.01%). We detected coinfections of lice of Clades A and C on the scalp hair of three of the eight people from Nepal: one person of the two people from Kathmandu and two of the six people from Pokhara. Lice of Clades A and B coinfected the scalp hair of one person from Atherton, Far North Queensland, Australia. These findings argue for additional large-scale studies of the body lice and head lice of double-infected people.

© 2014 Entomological Society of America
H. Xiong, D. Campelo, A. Boutellis, D. Raoult, M. Alem, J. Ali, K. Bilcha, R. Shao, R. J. Pollack, and S. C. Barker "SNPs in Entire Mitochondrial Genome Sequences (≈15.4 kb) and cox1 Sequences (≈486 bp) Resolve Body and Head Lice from Doubly Infected People from Ethiopia, China, Nepal, and Iran But not France," Journal of Medical Entomology 51(6), 1199-1207, (1 November 2014). https://doi.org/10.1603/ME14001
Received: 2 January 2014; Accepted: 1 August 2014; Published: 1 November 2014
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