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The Mediterranean Mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) as Intermediate Host for the Anisakid Sulcascaris sulcata (Nematoda), a Pathogen Parasite of the Mediterranean Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta)

1
Department of Integrative Marine Ecology, Stazione Zoologica Anthon Dohrn, Villa Comunale, 80121 Naples, Italy
2
Department of Animal Medicine, Production and Health, University of Padua, Viale dell’Università 16, 35020 Legnaro, Padova, Italy
3
Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, Sapienza University of Rome, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy
4
Department of Animal Health, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Mezzogiorno, via Salute 2, 80055 Portici, Naples, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pathogens 2020, 9(2), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9020118
Received: 7 January 2020 / Revised: 10 February 2020 / Accepted: 11 February 2020 / Published: 13 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spontaneous Diseases of Mollusks)
Sulcascaris sulcata (Anisakidae), a pathogenic nematode of sea turtles, may cause ulcerous gastritis with different degrees of severity. Previous studies demonstrated a high prevalence of infection in the Mediterranean loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta), although no data on the potential intermediate hosts of this nematode has been published thus far from the Mediterranean basin. Here, using molecular analyses, we demonstrated that the cross sections of nematode larvae observed histologically in Mediterranean mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) collected from a farm along the Tyrrhenian coast of southern Italy belong to S. sulcata. The BLAST analysis of sequences at the ITS2 region of rDNA and mtDNA cox2 gene loci here obtained from samples of two Mediterranean mussels containing nematode larvae showed 100% homology with those at the same gene loci from the adults of S. sulcata collected from the Mediterranean Sea and deposited in GenBank. To our knowledge, this study is the first to present data on a potential intermediate host of S. sulcata in the Mediterranean basin and to report a nematode parasite from the Mediterranean mussel.
Keywords: anisakid nematode; mussel parasite; Mytilus galloprovincialis; Sulcascaris sulcata; Tyrrhenian Sea anisakid nematode; mussel parasite; Mytilus galloprovincialis; Sulcascaris sulcata; Tyrrhenian Sea
MDPI and ACS Style

Santoro, M.; Marchiori, E.; Palomba, M.; Uberti, B.; Marcer, F.; Mattiucci, S. The Mediterranean Mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) as Intermediate Host for the Anisakid Sulcascaris sulcata (Nematoda), a Pathogen Parasite of the Mediterranean Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta). Pathogens 2020, 9, 118.

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