Ancient horizontal transfers of retrotransposons between birds and ancestors of human pathogenic nematodes

Suh, Alexander ORCID:, Witt, Christopher C., Menger, Juliana, Sadanandan, Keren R., Podsiadlowski, Lars, Gerth, Michael, Weigert, Anne, Mcguire, Jimmy A., Mudge, Joann, Edwards, Scott V. and Rheindt, Frank E. (2016) Ancient horizontal transfers of retrotransposons between birds and ancestors of human pathogenic nematodes. Nature Communications, 7 (1). ISSN 2041-1723

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Parasite host switches may trigger disease emergence, but prehistoric host ranges are often unknowable. Lymphatic filariasis and loiasis are major human diseases caused by the insect-borne filarial nematodes Brugia, Wuchereria and Loa. Here we show that the genomes of these nematodes and seven tropical bird lineages exclusively share a novel retrotransposon, AviRTE, resulting from horizontal transfer (HT). AviRTE subfamilies exhibit 83–99% nucleotide identity between genomes, and their phylogenetic distribution, paleobiogeography and invasion times suggest that HTs involved filarial nematodes. The HTs between bird and nematode genomes took place in two pantropical waves, >25–22 million years ago (Myr ago) involving the Brugia/Wuchereria lineage and >20–17 Myr ago involving the Loa lineage. Contrary to the expectation from the mammal-dominated host range of filarial nematodes, we hypothesize that these major human pathogens may have independently evolved from bird endoparasites that formerly infected the global breadth of avian biodiversity.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: sdg 3 - good health and well-being ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/good_health_and_well_being
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2020 01:16
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2024 09:30
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11396


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