Trichomonas gypaetinii n. sp., a new trichomonad from the upper gastrointestinal tract of scavenging birds of prey
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- Martínez-Díaz, R.A., Ponce-Gordo, F., Rodríguez-Arce, I. et al. Parasitol Res (2015) 114: 101. doi:10.1007/s00436-014-4165-5
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In the context of an epidemiological study carried out by several wildlife recovery centers in Spain, trichomonads resembling Trichomonas gallinae were found in the oropharyngeal cavity of 2 Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus) and 14 cinereous vultures (Aegypius monachus) which did not show any symptoms of trichomonosis. In order to characterize them, these isolates along with seven other T. gallinae isolates obtained from different hosts and from different geographical origin were analyzed. Genetic analyses were performed by sequencing the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU-rRNA) and the internal transcribed spacers (ITS1 and ITS2) and the 5.8S rRNA regions. The morphological study of the isolates in both light and scanning electron microscopy was also performed. The sequences obtained in the genetic analysis coincide with previously published sequences of an isolate named as Trichomonas sp., obtained from a bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus), and showed clear differences to the T. gallinae sequences (97 and 90–91 % homology, respectively, for SSU-rRNA and ITS regions) and display higher similarity with Trichomonas vaginalis and Trichomonas stableri than with T. gallinae. Multivariate statistical analysis of the morphometric study also reveals significant differences between the trichomonads of vultures and the isolates of T. gallinae. The isolates from vultures presented smaller values for each variable except for the length of axostyle projection, which was higher. These results together with the different nature of their hosts suggest the possibility of a new species of trichomonad which we hereby name Trichomonas gypaetinii, whose main host are birds of the subfamily Gypaetinae.