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Open Access Short report

Polymorphic microsatellites in the human bloodfluke, Schistosoma japonicum, identified using a genomic resource

Ning Xiao1*, Justin Remais2, Paul J Brindley3, Dongchuan Qiu1, Robert Spear4, Yang Lei1 and David Blair5

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Parasitic Diseases, Sichuan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041, PR China

2 Department of Environmental Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, 1518 Clifton Rd. NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA

3 Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Tropical Medicine, George Washington University Medical Center, 2300 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037, USA

4 Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, 50 University Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA

5 School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, 4811, Australia

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Parasites & Vectors 2011, 4:13  doi:10.1186/1756-3305-4-13

Published: 7 February 2011

Abstract

Re-emergence of schistosomiasis in regions of China where control programs have ceased requires development of molecular-genetic tools to track gene flow and assess genetic diversity of Schistosoma populations. We identified many microsatellite loci in the draft genome of Schistosoma japonicum using defined search criteria and selected a subset for further analysis. From an initial panel of 50 loci, 20 new microsatellites were selected for eventual optimization and application to a panel of worms from endemic areas. All but one of the selected microsatellites contain simple tri-nucleotide repeats. Moderate to high levels of polymorphism were detected. Numbers of alleles ranged from 6 to 14 and observed heterozygosity was always >0.6. The loci reported here will facilitate high resolution population-genetic studies on schistosomes in re-emergent foci.