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NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The symbiotic bacteria nestled inside of head and body lice appear to share a long evolutionary history with the blood-sucking parasite pests, new research suggests.

Investigators from the US and Uganda sequenced DNA from human, chimpanzee, gorilla, and monkey lice, producing sequences not only for the parasites themselves, but also for the endosymbiotic bacteria that live within them and provide them with B vitamins. The sequences indicated that the endosymbiotic bacteria phylogenetic patterns overlap with those described in the louse species.

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