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The molecular characterization of an Eimeria and Cryptosporidium detected in Asian seabass (Lates calcarifer) cultured in Vietnam

Gibson-Kueh, S., Yang, R., Thuy, N.T.N., Jones, J.B., Nicholls, P.K., Ryan, U.
Veterinary parasitology 2011 v.181 no.2-4 pp. 91-96
Cryptosporidium, DNA probes, Eimeria, Goussia, Lates calcarifer, feed contamination, genes, in situ hybridization, intestines, loci, microscopy, oocysts, parasites, pathogens, polymerase chain reaction, ribosomal RNA, sequence analysis, waxes, Australia, Vietnam
An intestinal Eimeria was previously reported as a significant pathogen of Asian seabass (Lates calcarifer) in nurseries in Vietnam. In the present study, both Eimeria and Cryptosporidium were detected by sequence analyses of fragments of the 18S rRNA gene amplified from these Vietnamese L. calcarifer tissues. Based on these analyses, the Eimeria from the Vietnamese L. calcarifer formed clades with the Eimeria detected in L. calcarifer tissues from Australia, but clustered separately from other known Eimeria and Goussia species. The Cryptosporidium detected in L. calcarifer from Vietnam clustered closest with C. parvum and C. hominis. In situ hybridization using DIG-labeled DNA probes generated from 18S PCR products on the Vietnamese L. calcarifer wax block tissues showed that this method could not be used to distinguish between Eimeria and Cryptosporidium, due to the conserved nature of the 18S locus. A previously published study on the morphology of parasite developmental stages and oocysts in the Vietnamese L. calcarifer tissues showed only an intestinal Eimeria infection. The Cryptosporidium could be present at very low levels undetectable by microscopy in intestines, or being ubiquitous, was a possible contaminant from feed or water. While molecular analysis is a very useful tool in the study of disease and identification of aetiological agents, this study reiterates the importance of demonstrating organisms in situ in tissues.