A synopsis of records of myxozoan parasites (Cnidaria: Myxozoa) from shrews, with additional data on Soricimyxum fegati from common shrew Sorex araneus in Hungary and pygmy shrew Sorex minutus in Slovakia

C. Székely, Stephen D. Atkinson, K. Molnár, L. Egyed, András Gubányi, Gábor Cech

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Abstract

Myxozoans (Cnidaria: Myxozoa) are almost exclusively endoparasites of aquatic vertebrates and invertebrates, with the notable exception being two species of Soricimyxum Prunescu, Prunescu, Pucek et Lom, 2007 described from terrestrial shrews (Soricidae) in central Europe. Myxospores of the two parasites are morphologically indistinguishable, but have SSU rDNA sequences that differ by about 4%. Herein, we report additional molecular and histology data from Soricimyxum fegati Prunescu, Prunescu, Pucek et Lom, 2007 from common shrew (Sorex araneus Linnaeus) from Hungary, and add a new geographic record for S. fegati in pygmy shrew (Sorex minutus Linnaeus) from Slovakia. A limited survey of shrews from the northern United States, Blarina brevicauda Say and Sorex sp. from New York, and Sorex spp. from Oregon, did not discover any infections, which is in stark contrast to the relatively high infection rates (up to 66%) in European shrew populations. We also provide a summary and discussion of literature records of species of Soricimyxum and a host survey. Given the lack of distinguishing morphological or morphometric characters between Soricimyxum spp., and the overlap in vertebrate hosts and geographic ranges, unambiguous identification of these closely related shrew parasites can presently only be achieved through sequence comparison of one or more variable SSU rDNA regions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number021
JournalFolia Parasitologica
Volume63
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016

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Keywords

  • Bile ducts
  • Central Europe
  • Eurasian pygmy shrew
  • Eurasian shrew
  • Liver
  • Mammal hosts
  • Myxozoan infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology

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