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J Parasitol. 2013 Aug;99(4):725-8. doi: 10.1645/12-109.1. Epub 2013 Jan 25.

Supplemental description of Myxobolus squamalis (Myxozoa).

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Department of Microbiology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331, USA.


Myxobolus squamalis is a myxozoan skin parasite first reported from rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Identification of the parasite based on myxospore morphology is unreliable because M. squamalis is similar to several other myxobolids that share host species and geographic ranges. The only ssrRNA gene sequence available for M. squamalis is from Chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tschawytscha, but these data are not linked with any information on spore morphology. Here we provide a supplemental description of M. squamalis from its type host, O. mykiss, using myxospore morphology, morphometry, and ssrRNA gene sequence data. Our ssrRNA sequence data were only 78% similar to the GenBank M. squamalis sequence from Chinook salmon, which raises the possibility of misidentification. We suggest that Chinook salmon are not a host of the parasite, as no infections were found in current stocks or in >30 yr of historical data from hatchery fish held in waters that harbored M. squamalis in rainbow trout, and we could find no well-identified report of M. squamalis from Chinook salmon. Our complementary morphological and molecular data sets will facilitate unambiguous future identification of M. squamalis.

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