Microsatellite deoxyribonucleic acid repeats provide a source of high variability that makes them ideal for use in studies requiring such molecular markers, including large population studies and genetic typing of individuals for kinship investigations. This paper provides reviews of the use of such markers in parasitology. Most studies to date have been carried out using protozoan and vector species. Recent investigations have, however, demonstrated their usefulness in the study of helminths, illustrating their ability to distinguish between individuals within hosts as well as from different hosts. The detection of microsatellites within parasites has provided a tool that will prove invaluable in parasitology and should lead to significant advances in our understanding of the processes that affect the organisms' population genetic structure.
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