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Parasitol Res. 2014 Jan;113(1):11-8. doi: 10.1007/s00436-013-3626-6. Epub 2013 Oct 11.

Trypanosoma epinepheli n. sp. (Kinetoplastida) from a farmed marine fish in China, the brown-marbled grouper (Epinephelus fuscoguttatus).

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Key Laboratory of South China Sea Fishery Resources Exploitation & Utilization, Ministry of Agriculture, South China Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China, 510300,


An outbreak of trypanosomosis occurred in farmed Epinephelus fuscoguttatus in Xincun Bay, province of Hainan, South China Sea. The infected fish showed loss of appetite, lethargy, emaciation, severe anemia, and splenomegaly. Light and scanning electron microscopic examination of bloodstream trypomastigotes revealed morphological features typical for small-sized marine fish trypanosomes. The trypanosome possesses a short body length (mean 22.3 μm, range 17.6-25.9 μm) and narrow body width (mean1.7 μm, range 1.3-2.0 μm), a central nucleus, a narrow but distinct undulating membrane, and a relatively long free flagellum (mean 10.1 μm, range 7.4-13.3 μm). The kinetoplast is situated at approximately one quarter of body length from posterior extremity. The division process of this trypanosome was observed in the peripheral blood of the host, and occurred by transverse constriction at a point between the kinetoplasts. Comparison of the small subunit rDNA (SSU rDNA) sequences revealed that the trypanosome from E. fuscoguttatus showed 93.4-97.1% identity with the available sequences from Trypanosoma spp. from other piscine hosts. Phylogenetic analysis supported the existence of an aquatic clade, and the present trypanosome grouped with other marine fish trypanosomes, in a subclade together with Trypanosoma senegalense. Based on the differences in morphological characteristics, host species, and molecular data, the trypanosome infecting E. fuscoguttatus is considered to be a new species, for which we propose the name Trypanosoma epinepheli n. sp.

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