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J Eukaryot Microbiol. 2001 Mar-Apr;48(2):227-33.

Pseudoloma neurophilia n. g., n. sp., a new microsporidium from the central nervous system of the zebrafish (Danio rerio).

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Zebrafish International Resource Center, University of Oregon, Eugene 97403-5274, USA.


An unusual xenoma-forming microsporidium was discovered in the central nervous system of moribund zebrafish from a laboratory colony in Eugene, Oregon. Infected fish were often emaciated and lethargic, and histological examination commonly revealed severe myelitis and myositis associated with the infection. Based on its structure, development, and small subunit ribosomal DNA sequence it is unique among fish microsporidia. Spores are uninucleate, ovoid to pyriform, with a prominent posterior vacuole. Spores average 5.4 x 2.7 microm with 13-16 coils of the polar filament. The microsporidium produces xenomas within the spinal cord and hindbrain of fish, and xenomas contained sporophorous vesicles with up to 16 spores. Sporoblasts and presporoblast stages (probably sporonts) are found occasionally in small aggregates dispersed randomly throughout xenomas. It clustered in the "Ichthyosporidium group" along with other fish microsporidian genera based on rDNA sequence analysis. The rDNA sequence of the zebrafish microsporidium was most similar to that of Ichthyosporidium, but showed only 12.1% similarity and therefore this microsporidium can be considered a distinct genus and species, which we have named Pseudoloma neurophilia n. g., n. sp.

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