No more time to stay ‘single’ in the detection of Anisakis pegreffii, A. simplex (s. s.) and hybridization events between them: a multi-marker nuclear genotyping approach
The accurate identification of anisakid nematodes at any life cycle stage is important both to deepen the knowledge on their taxonomy, ecology, epidemiology and for diagnosis and control, as larval stages cause a clinical disease in humans known as anisakidosis. With the aim to investigate the presence of anisakid larvae, specimens of horse mackerel, Trachurus trachurus (Linnaeus, 1758), silver scabbardfish, Lepidopus caudatus (Euphrasen, 1788), European anchovy, Engraulis encrasicolus (Linnaeus, 1758) and opah fish, Lampris guttatus (Brunnich, 1788), were collected by trawling at depths ranging from 50 to 400 m. A molecular approach based on restriction profiles obtained after digestion of the nuclear ribosomal ITS region was used to identify Anisakis spp. larvae recovered in fish samples. Restriction profiles showed three banding patterns, corresponding to Anisakis pegreffii, Anisakis physeteris and to heterozygote pattern between A. pegreffii and Anisakis simplex s.s. Specimens showing the heterozygote restriction pattern were also analyzed by sequencing of the entire ITS region, to confirm the heterozygote status.