Sequence analysis of the 5.8S rRNA gene and the internal transcribed spacer regions (ITSRs) was used to compare trichomonadid protozoa (n = 39) of varying morphologies isolated from the bovine preputial cavity. A multiple sequence alignment was performed with bovine isolate sequences and other trichomonadid protozoa sequences available in GenBank. As a group, Tritrichomonas foetus isolates (n = 7) had nearly complete homology. A similarity matrix showed low homology between the T. foetus isolates and other trichomonads recovered from cattle (<70%). Two clusters of trichomonads other than T. foetus were identified. Eighteen isolates comprised 1 group. These isolates shared >99% homology among themselves and with Pentatrichomonas hominis. The other non-T. foetus cluster (n = 14) did not exhibit a high degree of homology (<87%) with other bovine isolates or any of the trichomonad sequences available in GenBank. The sequence homology among isolates in that cluster was >99%, except for 1 isolate that varied from the others in both ITSRs (∼2% dissimilarity). Sequence analysis of the 5.8S rRNA gene and ITSRs was useful for comparing trichomonadid protozoa isolated from the bovine preputial cavity and demonstrated that 2 distinct types of trichomonads constituted the non-T. foetus isolates recovered from the bovine preputial cavity.
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