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First molecular data on Eimeria truttae from brown trout (Salmo trutta)

Couso-Pérez, Seila, Ares-Mazás, Elvira, Gómez-Couso, Hipólito
Parasitology research 2019 v.118 no.7 pp. 2121-2127
Eimeria, Protozoa, Salmo trutta, birds, digestive system diseases, fish, gastrointestinal system, genes, hosts, loci, mammals, oocysts, parasites, parasitism, phylogeny, reptiles, ribosomal RNA, rivers, Spain
The genus Eimeria comprises obligate intracellular protozoan parasites belonging to the phylum Apicomplexa. Members of this genus cause enteric disease in a wide range of vertebrate hosts, including fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals. A total of 157 species of Eimeria that parasitize fish have been described; however, molecular information regarding these piscine parasites is scarce. In the present study, Eimeria oocysts were detected in 189 of 613 (30.8%) gastrointestinal tracts of brown trout (Salmo trutta) captured in several rivers in Galicia (NW Spain). Measurements of the sporulated oocysts, sporocysts, and other morphological characteristics enabled identification of the oocysts as Eimeria truttae. By molecular analysis of the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU-rRNA) gene, a single sequence of ~ 420 bp was obtained in 100 fish samples. After amplification of a ~ 1300-bp fragment of the same locus, two representative sequences that exhibited five nucleotide differences were obtained. Phylogenetic analysis grouped the samples within the piscine clade closest to Eimeria nemethi as they exhibited 96.7% similarity with this species. This study is the first to characterize E. truttae at the molecular level, thus helping to clarify the phylogenetic relationships between this and other Eimeria species isolated from fish and contributing further to the knowledge about this protozoan parasite.