Comparative molecular characterization and phylogenetic analysis of cerebral and non-cerebral coenurosis in Indian goats.Vet Parasitol Reg Stud Reports. 2019 01; 15:100266.VP
Coenurus cerebralis is the larval stage of Taenia multiceps, which infects the muscles and brain of goats and, to a lesser extent, sheep. The resulting cerebral and non-cerebral infections caused by the larval form (metacestode) of this cestode are commonly known as coenurosis. A weak emaciated carcass of five months old female goat, on necropsy, revealed numerous parasitic cysts (n = 56, grossly visible) in the visceral cavity including heart, diaphragm, thoracic cavity, abdominal cavity and pelvic inlet. A large number of variable sized parasitic cysts were also observed embedded in the pericardium and myocardium causing functional damage to the heart. The parasite caused extensive tissue damage at gross and microscopic levels in the heart including traumatic destruction of the myocardium with degenerative and necrotic changes and infiltration of mononuclear cells. On parasitological examination, the cysts were identified as Coenurus cerebralis, as the scolices had characteristic four suckers and a rostellum with a double crown of hooks. Further confirmation was done using polymerase chain reaction targeting specific ND1 and CO1 genes. Phylogenetic analysis of CO1 and ND1 genes showed a major branch comprising two clades of T. multiceps grouped as separate entities with the first clade showing T. multiceps/Coenurus cerebralis native CIRG strain (cerebral) being placed in proximity to T. multiceps/Coenurus cerebralis CIRG strain (non-cerebral/visceral) compared to the Chinese strains of T. multiceps. The phylogenetic analysis of ND1 and CO1 genes of C. cerebralis of cerebral and non-cerebral isolates revealed close proximity but expressed in two different disease forms (i.e., visceral coenurosis and neural coenurosis) which indicated that they were very close divergent from a common ancestor. On the basis of the observations it was concluded that goat died due to cardiac dysfunction resulting from severe systemic infection of metacestode of T. multiceps was closely related to isolate that caused neural coenurosis in another goat. Based on the sequencing analysis and phylogenetic information, the possible differences in the clinical manifestation (neural or visceral) could be attributed to the pathogenesis.