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.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 51 • No. 6