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Hepatozoon silvestris sp. nov.: morphological and molecular characterization of a new species of Hepatozoon (Adeleorina: Hepatozoidae) from the European wild cat (Felis silvestris silvestris)

  • ADNAN HODŽIĆ (a1), AMER ALIĆ (a2), SENAD PRAŠOVIĆ (a2), DOMENICO OTRANTO (a3), GAD BANETH (a4) and GEORG GERHARD DUSCHER (a1)...

Summary

Based on morphological and genetic characteristics, we describe a new species of Hepatozoon in the European wild cat (Felis silvestris silvestris), herein named Hepatozoon silvestris sp. nov. The study also provides the first data on the occurrence of H. felis in this wild felid. Hepatozoon meronts were observed in multiple cross-sections of different organs of four (44%) cats. Additionally, extracellular forms, resembling mature gamonts of Hepatozoon, were found in the spleen and myocardium of two cats. Furthermore, tissues of six animals (67%) were positive by PCR. Hepatozoon felis was identified infecting one cat (11%), whereas the 18S rRNA sequences of the remaining five cats (56%) were identical, but distinct from the sequences of H. felis. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that those sequences form a highly supported clade distant from other Hepatozoon spp. Future studies should include domestic cats from the areas where the wild cats positive for H. silvestris sp. nov. were found, in order to investigate their potential role to serve as intermediate hosts of this newly described species. Identification of its definitive host(s) and experimental transmission studies are required for elucidating the full life cycle of this parasite and the possible alternative routes of its transmission.

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      Hepatozoon silvestris sp. nov.: morphological and molecular characterization of a new species of Hepatozoon (Adeleorina: Hepatozoidae) from the European wild cat (Felis silvestris silvestris)
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      Hepatozoon silvestris sp. nov.: morphological and molecular characterization of a new species of Hepatozoon (Adeleorina: Hepatozoidae) from the European wild cat (Felis silvestris silvestris)
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      Hepatozoon silvestris sp. nov.: morphological and molecular characterization of a new species of Hepatozoon (Adeleorina: Hepatozoidae) from the European wild cat (Felis silvestris silvestris)
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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Department of Pathobiology, Institute of Parasitology, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Veterinaerplatz 1, 1210 Vienna, Austria. E-mail: georg.duscher@vetmeduni.ac.at

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Keywords

Hepatozoon silvestris sp. nov.: morphological and molecular characterization of a new species of Hepatozoon (Adeleorina: Hepatozoidae) from the European wild cat (Felis silvestris silvestris)

  • ADNAN HODŽIĆ (a1), AMER ALIĆ (a2), SENAD PRAŠOVIĆ (a2), DOMENICO OTRANTO (a3), GAD BANETH (a4) and GEORG GERHARD DUSCHER (a1)...

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