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Folia Parasitol (Praha). 2006 Dec;53(4):241-8.

A new fish haemogregarine from South Africa and its suspected dual transmission with trypanosomes by a marine leech.

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  • 1School of Life Sciences, Kingston University, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE, UK.


Twenty two percent (22/98) of intertidal fishes of 10 species captured in South Africa at Koppie Alleen, De Hoop Nature Reserve (south coast) and Mouille Point, Cape Town (west coast), harboured single or combined infections of haemogregarines, trypanosomes and an intraerythrocytic parasite resembling a Haemohormidium sp. The haemogregarines included the known species Haemogregarina (sensu lato) bigemina (Laveran et Mesnil, 1901) Siddall, 1995 and Haemogregarina (sensu lato) koppiensis Smit et Davies, 2001, while Haemogregarina (sensu lato) curvata sp. n. was observed in Clinus cottoides Valenciennes and Parablennius cornutus (L.) at Koppie Alleen. This last haemogregarine is characterised particularly by its distinctly curved gamonts. Also at Koppie Alleen, squash and histological preparations of 9/10 leeches, Zeylanicobdella arugamensis De Silva, 1963, taken from infected C. cottoides and P. cornutus contained developmental stages of H. curvata and/or trypanosomes, but these were absent from haematophagous gnathiid isopods (Gnathia africana Barnard, 1914) taken from infected fishes. It is suspected that Z. arugamensis transmits the haemogregarine and trypanosomes simultaneously between fishes, a double event unreported previously from the marine environment.

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