Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Molecular Characterization and Genetic Diversity of Clade E-Human Head Lice from Guinea

Version 1 : Received: 16 December 2020 / Approved: 18 December 2020 / Online: 18 December 2020 (11:22:55 CET)

How to cite: Hammoud, A.; Louni, M.; Baldé, M.C.; Beavogui, A.H.; Gautret, P.; Didier, R.; Fenollar, F.; Missé, D.; Mediannikov, O. Molecular Characterization and Genetic Diversity of Clade E-Human Head Lice from Guinea. Preprints 2020, 2020120454 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202012.0454.v1). Hammoud, A.; Louni, M.; Baldé, M.C.; Beavogui, A.H.; Gautret, P.; Didier, R.; Fenollar, F.; Missé, D.; Mediannikov, O. Molecular Characterization and Genetic Diversity of Clade E-Human Head Lice from Guinea. Preprints 2020, 2020120454 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202012.0454.v1).

Abstract

Pediculus humanus capitis, the head louse, is an obligate blood-sucking ectoparasite that occurs in six divergent mitochondrial haplogroups (A, D, B, F, C and E), each exhibiting a particular geographic distribution. A few years ago, several studies reported the presence of different pathogenic agents in head lice specimens from different clades collected worldwide. These findings suggest that head louse could be a vector for dangerous diseases and therefore a serious public health problem. Herein, we aimed to study the mitochondrial genetic diversity, the PHUM540560 gene polymorphisms profile of head lice collected in Guinea, as well as to screen for the pathogens present in these lice. In 2018, a total of 155 head lice were collected from 49 individuals at the Medicals Centers of rural (Maférinyah village) and urban (Kindia city) areas, in Guinea. All head lice were subjected to genetic analysis and screened for the presence of several pathogens using molecular tools. The results showed that all head lice belonged to the haplogroups C/E using the duplex qPCR which detects both clades. Standard PCR and sequencing revealed that all specimens belonged to the haplogroup E, including 8 haplotypes, whither 6 new identified for the first time in this study. The study of the PHUM540560 gene polymorphisms in our Guinean head lice revealed that 7/40 (17.5%) of our tested samples exhibit three different polymorphism profiles compared to the clade A-head lice PHUM540560 gene profile, while the remaining specimens 33/40 (82,5%) showed the same PHUM540560 gene polymorphism profile as the previously reported clade A-body lice. Molecular investigations of the targeted pathogens revealed only the presence of Acinetobacter species in 9% of our samples using real time PCR. Sequencing results identified highlighted the presence of several Acinetobacter species, including Acinetobacter baumannii (14.3%), Acinetobacter nosocomialis (14.3%), Acinetobacter variabilis (14.3%), Acinetobacter haemolyticus (7.2%), Acinetobacter towneri (7.2%). Furthermore, a candidate new species of Acinetobacter sp. (7.2%) was detected. Positive specimens were collected from 24,5% individuals in Maférinyah. We also investigated in our study the carbapenem’s-resistant profile of A. baumannii, none of our specimens were positive for the following resistance genes blaOXA-21, blaOXA-24 and blaOXA-58. To the best of our knowledge, our study is the first to report the existence of the Guinean haplogroup E, the PHUM540560 gene polymorphism profile as well as the presence of Acinetobacter species in head lice collected from Guinea.

Subject Areas

Head lice, haplogroup E, PHUM540560 gene, Acinetobacter haemolyticus, Acinetobacter spp., Guinea.

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 4 January 2021
Commenter: Sergey Pushkin (Click to see Publons profile: )
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: This paper is very valuable to my colleagues. Since we are sequencing the head lice of the Palaearctic. The identified primers will facilitate the intraspecific diagnosis of Pediculus humanus capitis. Molecular genetic traits, allow making important conclusions about the intraspecific characteristics of this species. Congratulations to colleagues for a wonderful article.
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