Molecular Identification, Taxonomy and Genetic Variation of Parasite in Animals

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Veterinary Clinical Studies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2023) | Viewed by 13231

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum Universita di Bologna, Bologna, Italy
Interests: morphological and molecular studies on Clinostomum (Trematoda) and Contracaecum (Nematoda); fishborne zoonotic parasites with particular reference to the molecular identifications; microsporidiosis in farmed fish; cryptosporidiosis in fish and terrestrial animals
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
Interests: parasite taxonomy; zoonotic parasites; parasite ecology; parasitic infections in wild and farmed animals; electron microscopy; helminths; fish diseases; cephalopod parasites; crayfish diseases; oomycetes
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent decades, the integration of morphology-based and molecular taxonomy in parasitological studies has provided a crucial contribution to our knowledge of the diversity, host specificity, distribution and dynamics of parasitic organisms, in order to highlight possible emergence and re-emergence patterns and, overall, to improve our understanding of parasitic infections in animals.

Nevertheless, particularly in less investigated host–parasite systems, many taxonomy-related questions are still open.

The present Special Issue aims to collect comprehensive taxonomical studies focused on parasites of wild and farmed animals with possible applications in diagnostics, food safety, epidemiology, animal conservation and the study of host–parasite interactions.

Dr. Monica Caffara
Dr. Perla Tedesco
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • parasites
  • systematics
  • taxonomy
  • terrestrial animals
  • aquatic animals
  • wildlife
  • invertebrates

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

11 pages, 2125 KiB  
Article
A New Parasitic Archamoeba Causing Systemic Granulomatous Disease in Goldfish Extends the Diversity of Pathogenic Endolimax spp.
by Maria Constenla and Oswaldo Palenzuela
Animals 2023, 13(5), 935; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050935 - 5 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2079
Abstract
Endolimax is a genus of intestinal amoebae which stands among the least known human protists. Previous studies on amoebic systemic granulomatosis of a marine fish (Solea senegalensis) resulted in the unexpected characterization of a new organism which was related to Endolimax [...] Read more.
Endolimax is a genus of intestinal amoebae which stands among the least known human protists. Previous studies on amoebic systemic granulomatosis of a marine fish (Solea senegalensis) resulted in the unexpected characterization of a new organism which was related to Endolimax and named E. piscium. The existence of multiple reports of systemic granulomatosis caused presumptively by unidentified amoebae in goldfish lead us to investigate the organism involved in goldfish disease. Analysed goldfish presented small whitish nodules in the kidney, which correspond to chronic granulomatous inflammatory reactions with a ring-layer of amoebae in the periphery. Amoebae were amitochondriate and were located in a parasitophorous vacuole within macrophages, as previous studies on this condition in goldfish and other freshwater fish pointed out. SSU rDNA characterization confirmed a new Endolimax lineage which appears closely related to E. piscium, but the molecular evidence, distinct pathological features and lack of ecological overlapping between the hosts support their assignment to a new species, E. carassius. The results support the existence of a considerable unexplored diversity of Endolimax spp. among fish, and their proper characterization can contribute to an understanding of Archamoebae evolution and pathogenic potential. Full article
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13 pages, 1356 KiB  
Article
Molecular Identification of Sarcocystis rileyi and Sarcocystis sp. (Closely Related to Sarcocystis wenzeli) in Intestines of Mustelids from Lithuania
by Petras Prakas, Darija Moskaliova, Donatas Šneideris, Evelina Juozaitytė-Ngugu, Evelina Maziliauskaitė, Saulius Švažas and Dalius Butkauskas
Animals 2023, 13(3), 467; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13030467 - 29 Jan 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2063
Abstract
The genus Sarcocystis is a group of numerous protozoan parasites having a two-host life cycle. Based on laboratory experiments and/or phylogenetic analysis results it was shown that seven Sarcocystis spp. producing sarcocsyts in bird tissues are transmitted via predatory placental mammals. To date [...] Read more.
The genus Sarcocystis is a group of numerous protozoan parasites having a two-host life cycle. Based on laboratory experiments and/or phylogenetic analysis results it was shown that seven Sarcocystis spp. producing sarcocsyts in bird tissues are transmitted via predatory placental mammals. To date the role of small mammals of the family Mustelidae in the distribution of avian Sarcocystis spp. have not been studied. During the current investigation, intestinal mucosa scrapings of 115 mustelids belonging to five species were tested for S. albifronsi, S. anasi, S. rileyi, and S. wenzeli infecting anseriforms and chickens. Microscopically, free sporocysts, sporulating oocysts, and loose oocysts were found in 61 samples (53.0%). Using nested PCR targeting the ITS1 region and sequencing, S. rileyi was confirmed in eight American minks, two European polecats and single European badger. Sarcocystis sp. was identified in one American mink and one European pine marten. Based on the partial ITS1 region this parasite showed that 100% identity to pathogenic Sarcocystis sp. caused a fatal infection in backyard chickens from Brazil. Phylogenetically, the Sarcocystis sp. identified in our study was most closely related to S. wenzeli parasitising domestic fowl (Gallus domesticus). Full article
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10 pages, 1666 KiB  
Article
A Case of Bovine Eosinophilic Myositis (BEM) Associated with Co-Infection by Sarcocystis hominis and Toxoplasma gondii
by Filippo Maria Dini, Monica Caffara, Joana G. P. Jacinto, Cinzia Benazzi, Arcangelo Gentile and Roberta Galuppi
Animals 2023, 13(2), 311; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13020311 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2544
Abstract
Bovine eosinophilic myositis (BEM) is a specific inflammatory myopathy, often associated with Sarcocystis spp., with multifocal gray-green lesions leading to carcass condemnation with considerable economic losses. Here is described a peculiar case of BEM that occurred in an adult (16 month) cattle, born [...] Read more.
Bovine eosinophilic myositis (BEM) is a specific inflammatory myopathy, often associated with Sarcocystis spp., with multifocal gray-green lesions leading to carcass condemnation with considerable economic losses. Here is described a peculiar case of BEM that occurred in an adult (16 month) cattle, born in France, bred, and slaughtered in Italy at the end of 2021. On inspection, muscles showed the typical multifocal gray-green lesions that were sampled for, cytological, histological, and molecular investigations, while meat juice was subjected to IFAT for Toxoplasma IgG. Genomic DNA was extracted from lesions, portions of healthy muscle and from meat juice pellet and analyzed by PCR targeting 18S rDNA, COI mtDNA and B1 genes, and sequenced. The cytology showed inflammatory cells mostly referable to eosinophils; at histology, protozoan cysts and severe granulomatous myositis were observed. A BEM lesion and meat juice pellet subjected to PCR showed, concurrently, sequences referable both to S. hominis and T. gondii. Meat juice IFAT resulted negative for T. gondii IgG. Our findings highlight the first detection of T. gondii DNA in association with S. hominis in a BEM case, suggesting a multiple parasite infection associated with this pathology, although the actual role of T. gondii infection in the pathophysiology of the diseases should be clarified. Full article
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15 pages, 2595 KiB  
Article
Survey of Zoonotic Diarrheagenic Protist and Hepatitis E Virus in Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) of Portugal
by Sérgio Santos-Silva, Danny Franciele da Silva Dias Moraes, Pedro López-López, Josman D. Palmeira, Rita T. Torres, Maria São José Nascimento, Alejandro Dashti, David Carmena, Antonio Rivero-Juarez and João R. Mesquita
Animals 2023, 13(2), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13020256 - 12 Jan 2023
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3375
Abstract
Enteropathogenic parasites and viruses have been frequently reported in swine and can infect a wide range of mammals, including humans. Among the wide variety of parasites infecting swine, diarrhoeagenic protists are among those that cause significant morbidity. Hepatitis E virus (HEV) has also [...] Read more.
Enteropathogenic parasites and viruses have been frequently reported in swine and can infect a wide range of mammals, including humans. Among the wide variety of parasites infecting swine, diarrhoeagenic protists are among those that cause significant morbidity. Hepatitis E virus (HEV) has also been reported both in domestic pigs and wild boar and is known to have an important public health significance. These agents share the fecal–oral transmission route, but data on their fecal shedding and circulation pathways are still lacking or incomplete. Hence, the aim of the present study was to characterize the presence of microeukaryotes and HEV in the wild boar of Portugal. Wild boar stool samples (n = 144) were obtained during the official hunting seasons (October to February) in 2018/2019, 2019/2020, and 2021/2022 and tested for Cryptosporidium spp., Balantioides coli, Giardia duodenalis, Blastocystis sp., Enterocytozoon bieneusi and HEV by molecular assays, followed by sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. We have detected Cryptosporidium scrofarum (1.4%, 95% CI: 0.2–4.9), B. coli (14.6%, 95% CI: 9.2–21.4), Blastocystis ST5 (29.2%, 95% CI: 21.9–37.2) and HEV genotype 3 (2.8%, 95% CI: 0.7–6.9; subgenotypes 3e and 3m). Co-infections were observed in thirteen animals where two were positive for both HEV and B. coli, one was positive for both C. scrofarum and Blastocystis ST5, and ten were positive for both B. coli and Blastocystis ST5. Giardia duodenalis and E. bieneusi were not detected in the surveyed wild boar population. As far as we know, this is the first report describing protist infections by Cryptosporidium spp., B. coli, and Blastocystis sp., as well as the first identification of the emerging HEV genotype 3m in wild boar of Portugal. The present work shows that potentially zoonotic protozoa and HEV are circulating in wild boar populations in Portugal. Awareness and epidemic-surveillance network implementation measures targeting wild boar are needed to prevent the spread of these pathogenic agents to humans. Full article
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17 pages, 2070 KiB  
Article
Population Genetic Structure of Anisakis simplex Infecting the European Hake from North East Atlantic Fishing Grounds
by Andrea Ramilo, Helena Rodríguez, Santiago Pascual, Ángel F. González and Elvira Abollo
Animals 2023, 13(2), 197; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13020197 - 4 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2228
Abstract
The European hake, one of the most commercially valuable species in ICES fishing areas, is considered an important neglected source of zoonotic risk by nematode parasites belonging to the genus Anisakis. Merluccius merluccius is, by far, the most important host of Anisakis [...] Read more.
The European hake, one of the most commercially valuable species in ICES fishing areas, is considered an important neglected source of zoonotic risk by nematode parasites belonging to the genus Anisakis. Merluccius merluccius is, by far, the most important host of Anisakis spp. at the European fishing grounds, in terms of demographic infection values, and carries the highest parasite burden. These high parasite population densities within an individual fish host offer a chance to explore new sources of variations for the genetic structure of Anisakis spp. populations. A total of 873 Anisakis spp. third-stage larvae, originally sampled from viscera and muscular sections of hake collected at ten fishing grounds, were primarily identified using ITS rDNA region as molecular marker. After that, we used mtDNA cox2 gene to reveal the high haplotype diversity and the lack of genetic structure for A. simplex. Dominant haplotypes were shared among the different fishing areas and fish sections analyzed. Results indicate a clear connection of A. simplex from European hake along the Northern North Sea to the Portuguese coast, constituting a single genetic population but revealing a certain level of genetic sub-structuring on the Northwest coast of Scotland. This study also provides useful information to advance the understanding of parasite speciation to different fish host tissues or microenvironments. Full article
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