* Genetic variability of Echinococcus granulosus based on the mitochondrial 16S ribosomal RNA gene.
- Echinococcus granulosus is the etiological agent of cystic echinococcosis, a major zoonotic disease of both humans and animals. In this study, we assessed genetic variability and genetic structure of E. granulosus in the Tibet plateau, using the complete mitochondrial 16 S ribosomal RNA gene for the first time. We collected and sequenced 62 isolates of E. granulosus from 3 populations in the Tibet plateau. A BLAST analysis indicated that 61 isolates belonged to E. granulosus sensu stricto (genotypes G1-G3), while one isolate belonged to E. canadensis (genotype G6). We detected 16 haplotypes with a haplotype network revealing a star-like expansion, with the most common haplotype occupying the center of the network. Haplotype diversity and nucleotide diversity were low, while negative values were observed for Tajima's D and Fu's Fs. AMOVA results and Fst values revealed that the three geographic populations were not genetically differentiated. Our results suggest that a population bottleneck or population expansion has occurred in the past, and that this explains the low genetic variability of E. granulosus in the Tibet Plateau.