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Folia Parasitol (Praha). 2007 Nov;54(4):259-71.

Vavraia culicis (Weiser, 1947) Weiser, 1977 revisited: cytological characterisation of a Vavraia culicis-like microsporidium isolated from mosquitoes in Florida and the establishment of Vavraia culicis floridensis subsp. n.

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  • 1Institute of Parasitology, Biology Centre, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Branisovská 31, 370 05 Ceské, Budĕjovice, Czech Republic.


A brief nomenclatural history of Vavraia culicis (Weiser, 1947), the type species for the genus Vavraia Weiser, 1977, is presented together with a detailed description of the cytological and ultrastructural characteristics of a Vavraia culicis-like microsporidian species isolated from Aedes albopictus (Scuse) in Florida. This "Florida isolate", is the only known isolate of a species of the genus Vavraia from mosquitoes propagated in laboratory culture. Although the Florida isolate has been used under the name Vavraia culicis in several molecular phylogeny and host-parasite studies, it has not been structurally characterized and its relationship to the type species Vavraia culicis has never been examined. Structural data strongly support placement of the Florida isolate within the genus Vavraia and indicate its close relationship to both the type species of the genus and to other Vavraia-like mosquito microsporidia to which the name V. culicis has been applied. However, the identity of the Florida isolate with V. culicis (Weiser, 1947) Weiser, 1977 cannot be presently confirmed. Morphometric examination of spores of several Vavraia-like microsporidia isolates from mosquitoes, including the type material of Vavraia culicis, indicates that Vavraia culicis-like microsporidia probably represent not a single species, but a group of closely related organisms. Subspecies status is proposed for the Florida isolate.

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