Parasitology Research

, Volume 118, Issue 1, pp 97–109 | Cite as

Integrative taxonomic approach of trypanosomes in the blood of rodents and soricids in Asian countries, with the description of three new species

  • Eliakunda Mafie
  • Atsuko Saito-Ito
  • Masatoshi Kasai
  • Mochammad Hatta
  • Pilarita T. Rivera
  • Xiao-Hang Ma
  • Eng-Rin Chen
  • Hiroshi SatoEmail author
  • Nobuhiro Takada
Original Paper


Trypanosoma lewisi (Kinetoplastea: Trypanosomatida: Trypanosomatidae) with a cosmopolitan distribution is the type species of the subgenus Herpetosoma, which includes ca. 50 nominal species isolated mainly from rodents. Since members of Herpetosoma in different host species have an almost identical morphology of bloodstream forms, these trypanosomes are referred to as ‘T. lewisi-like’, and the molecular genetic characterization of each species is necessary to verify their taxonomy. In the present study, we collected blood samples from 89 murid rodents of 15 species and 11 soricids of four species in Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, and mainland China for the detection of hemoprotozoan infection. T. lewisi and T. lewisi-like trypanosomes were found in the blood smears of 10 murid animals, which included Bandicota indica (two rats), Rattus argentiventer (one rat), and Rattus tiomanicus (two rats) in Indonesia; Rattus rattus (one rat) in the Philippines; and Niviventer confucianus (four rats) in mainland China. Furthermore, large- or medium-sized non-T. lewisi-like trypanosomes were detected in two soricids, Crocidura dracula in Vietnam and Anourosorex yamashinai in Taiwan, respectively. Molecular genetic characterization of the small subunit (SSU) ribosomal RNA gene (rDNA) and glycosomal glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) gene indicated that the trypanosomes from all the murid hosts had identical SSU rDNA or gGAPDH gene nucleotide sequences except for those in N. confucianus in mainland China. These N. confucianus-infecting trypanosomes also showed several unique morphological features such as smaller bodies, anteriorly positioned nuclei, and larger rod-shaped kinetoplasts when compared with T. lewisi trypomastigotes. Trypanosoma (Herpetosoma) niviventerae n. sp. is erected for this new species. Similarly, based on morphological and molecular genetic characterization, Trypanosoma sapaensis n. sp. and Trypanosoma anourosoricis n. sp. are proposed for the trypanosomes in C. dracula in Vietnam and A. yamashinai in Taiwan, respectively. More effort directed toward the morphological and molecular genetic characterization of the trypanosomes of rodents and soricids is required to fully understand the real biodiversity of their hemoflagellates.


Trypanosoma lewisi Trypanosoma niviventerae n. sp. Trypanosoma sapaensis n. sp. Trypanosoma anourosoricis n. sp. Rodent Soricid rDNA gGAPDH Asia 



We are indebted to the mammalogists of Hasanuddin University, Indonesia, and Central Luzon State University, Philippines, for their species identification of the collected murids and soricids.

Compliance with ethical standards

The ethics of animal trapping and sample collection adhered to in this study followed the guidelines outlined by each survey participant’s university, but at that time, no individual permission numbers of sample collection were provided to us from these organizations.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eliakunda Mafie
    • 1
  • Atsuko Saito-Ito
    • 2
    • 3
  • Masatoshi Kasai
    • 2
  • Mochammad Hatta
    • 4
  • Pilarita T. Rivera
    • 5
  • Xiao-Hang Ma
    • 6
  • Eng-Rin Chen
    • 7
  • Hiroshi Sato
    • 1
    • 8
    Email author
  • Nobuhiro Takada
    • 9
  1. 1.Laboratory of Parasitology, United Graduate School of Veterinary ScienceYamaguchi UniversityYamaguchiJapan
  2. 2.Section of Parasitology, Division of MicrobiologyKobe University Graduate School of MedicineKobeJapan
  3. 3.Section of Microbiology, School of PharmacyHyogo University of Health SciencesKobeJapan
  4. 4.Department of Medical Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Immunology Laboratory, Faculty of MedicineHasanuddin UniversityMakassarIndonesia
  5. 5.Department of Parasitology, College of Public HealthUniversity of the Philippines ManilaManilaPhilippines
  6. 6.College of Life SciencesZhejiang UniversityHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  7. 7.Department of ParasitologyKaohsiung Medical UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan
  8. 8.Faculty of Veterinary MedicineAirlangga UniversitySurabayaIndonesia
  9. 9.Faculty of Medical SciencesUniversity of FukuiFukuiJapan

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