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The distribution of parasites is shaped by a variety of factors, among which are the migratory movements of their hosts. Israel has a unique position to migratory routes of several bird species leaving Europe to winter in Africa, however, detailed studies on the parasite fauna of birds from this area are scarce. Our study investigates occurrence and distribution of sibling species among Contracaecum rudolphii complex in Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis from Italy and Israel, to acquire further information on the geographical range of these species to gain deeper knowledge on the ecology of these parasites and their bird host. A total of 2383 Contracaecum were collected from the gastric mucosa of 28 great cormorants (18 from Israel and 10 from Italy). A subsample was processed for morphological analyses in light and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and for molecular analyses through amplification and sequencing of the ITS rDNA and the cox2 mtDNA, and through PCR-RFLP. All the 683 Contracaecum subjected to molecular identification belonged to C. rudolphii s.l., (300 C. rudolphii A and 383 C. rudolphii B). SEM micrographs provided, for the first time, details of taxonomic structures in male specimens from both sibling species, and the first SEM characterization of C. rudolphii B. This work presents the first data on the occurrence of sibling species of C. rudolphii in Israel and provides additional information on the distribution of C. rudolphii A and B in Italy, confirming the high prevalence and intensity of infection observed in Ph. carbo sinensis from other Italian areas.
The genus Clinostomoides Dollfus, 1950 was erected to accommodate a single worm from Ardea goliath sampled in the Belgian Congo. The specimen was distinguished from other clinostomids by its large size and posterior genitalia. In the following years, metacercariae of Clinostomoides brieni, have been described in Clarias spp. in southern and western Africa. A few authors have referred to Clinostomum brieni, but all such usages appear to be lapsus calami, and the validity of Clinostomoides remains widely accepted. In this study our aim was: position C. brieni among the growing clinostomids molecular database, and redescribe the species with emphasis on characters that have emerged as important in recent work. We sequenced two nuclear (partial 18S and ITS) and one mitochondrial marker (partial cytochrome c oxidase I) and studied morphology in metacercariae from hosts and localities likely to harbour the type species (Clarias spp., Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa). Phylogenetic analysis shows C. brieni belongs within Clinostomum Leidy, 1856. We therefore transfer C. brieni to Clinostomum, amend the diagnosis for the genus Clinostomum and provide a critical analysis of other species in Clinostomoides, all of which we consider species inquirendae, as they rest on comparisons of different developmental stages.
The genus Clinostomum Leidy, 1856 (Digenea: Clinostomidae) has been reported in all ecozones of the world and a clear separation between the species of the ‘Old World’ and ‘New World’ has been recognized based on molecular studies. Recent works on Afrotropical species include redescriptions of C. cutaneum and C. phalacrocoracis, while C. tilapiae has yet to be studied using modern taxonomic approaches. In the present research, morphological redescription of C. tilapiae metacercariae from a new host, Synodontis batensoda sampled at Anambra River Basin, Nigeria, together with molecular analysis of nuclear internal transcribed spacer rDNA and cytochrome c oxidase 1 mtDNA are reported. We also provide morphological and molecular data from four further putative species of Clinostomum (morphotypes 1–4) from different areas of Africa, as well as the first report of C. phalacrocoracis in South Africa.
An amendment of the family Sinuolineidae (Myxosporea) is proposed in order to include a newly described genus Latyspora n. gen. The type species Latyspora scomberomori n. gen. n. sp. is a coelozoic parasite in the kidney tubules of Scomberomorus guttatus. In addition to the morphological and molecular characterization of L. scomberomori n. gen. n. sp., we also present novel SSU rDNA data on Sphaerospora testicularis, a serious parasite of Dicentrarchus labrax. Performed phylogenetic analyses revealed that both species cluster within the marine urinary clade encompassing the representatives with a shared insertion within their V4 SSU rRNA region and grouping according to the shape of their spores’ sutural line and their similar tissue tropism in the host. Sphaerospora testicularis is the closest relative to Parvicapsula minibicornis within the Parvicapsula subclade and L. scomberomori n. gen. n. sp. is the basal species of the Zschokkella subclade. The phylogenetic position of S. testicularis, outwith the basal Sphaerospora sensu stricto clade, and its morphology suggest it being a non-typical Sphaerospora. The sequence data provided on S. testicularis can help in future revisions of the strongly polyphyletic genus Sphaerospora. We recommend re-sequencing of several sphaerosporids as an essential step before such taxonomic changes are accomplished.
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