Parasitology Research

, Volume 115, Issue 11, pp 4275–4279 | Cite as

Detection of the bacterial endosymbiont Neorickettsia in a New Zealand digenean

Original Paper


Neorickettsia are endosymbiotic bacteria that infect digeneans (Trematoda). These bacteria are of interest worldwide because of their ability to move from the parasite to its host, where they can cause serious diseases of humans and animals. While several disease-forming species of Neorickettsia have been well studied, and numerous Neorickettsia types have been identified in regions such as North America and parts of Asia, records from other locations are sparse. To date, there have been no reports of Neorickettsia from New Zealand. We screened ten species of digeneans infecting seven native gastropod species (both marine and freshwater) found near Dunedin, New Zealand, for the presence of neorickettsial infections. A >1300 bp long section of 16S rRNA belonging to a Neorickettsia bacterium was isolated from opecoelid digeneans of two individuals of the mudflat topshell snail Diloma subrostrata. These sequences represent the first evidence of neorickettsial infection in native New Zealand animals and are also the first Neorickettsia found in digeneans of the family Opecoelidae.


Parasitism Trematodes Endosymbionts Anaplasmataceae Rickettsiales 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

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