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Protostrongylus pulmonalis (Frölich, 1802) and P. oryctolagi Baboš, 1955 (Nematoda: Protostrongylidae), parasites of the lungs of European hare (Lepus europaeus L.) in France: morphological and molecular approaches

Lesage, Célia, Jouet, Damien, Patrelle, Cécile, Guitton, Jean-Sébastien, Decors, Anouk, Ferté, Hubert
Parasitology research 2014 v.113 no.6 pp. 2103-2111
Lepus, Protostrongylus, adults, gene banks, haplotypes, hares, internal transcribed spacers, lungs, male reproductive system, mixed infection, molecular biology, parasites, rabbits, ribosomal DNA, surveys, wildlife diseases, France
Pulmonary protostrongyliasis of hare is a parasitic disease caused by nematodes belonging to the genus Protostrongylus (Nematoda, Protostrongylidae). During survey of wildlife disease in the South-East of France, pathologic examination of lungs from European hares found dead or hunter-killed between 2009 and 2012 was performed. Adult male worms were morphologically characterized and the identification confirmed by molecular biology (D2 domain of the 28S and ITS2 of rDNA). Two different species were identified: the first one, Protostrongylus pulmonalis, is identical with the haplotype previously deposited in GenBank. Based on morphological criteria of copulatory bursa of adult male worms (especially length of spicules and gubernaculum structure), we identified a second species found in France as Protostrongylus oryctolagi. This is the first report of P. oryctolagi in France from European hare and rabbit. P. oryctolagi was isolated from 248 hares and 3 rabbits in the South of France. P. pulmonalis was isolated from four hares found dead in the Northern France and from one hare in the South, which was co-parasitized by P. oryctolagi and P. pulmonalis. It’s the first coinfection observed with these two species from a lung of hare in France.