The present work aims to morphologically and molecularly characterize an Eimeria sp. recovered from an adult, captive barred owl Strix varia in Mississippi, USA. While the owl was shedding oocysts, no clinical signs of coccidiosis were observed.
Materials and Methods
Oocysts collected from a barred owl, S. varia were isolated from feces by fecal flotation and characterized by light microscopy. The oocysts were allowed to sporulate in K2Cr2O7 for 7 days and measured for comparison with previously described Eimeria species. Genomic DNA was extracted from measured oocysts and the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 mitochondrial gene was amplified and sequenced for comparison and phylogenetic analyses with publicly available sequence data.
Oocysts collected from S. varia were morphologically and molecularly consistent with all previous accounts of Eimeria megabubonis from the great horned owl Bubo virginianus and morphologically consistent with the only account of Eimeria varia from S. varia. Phylogenetic analyses grouped the E. megabubonis sequence from the present study with previously reported sequences from E. megabubonis.
Morphological and molecular data from oocysts collected in this study reveal S. varia is a host for E. megabubonis. Agreement between current data, morphological and molecular data of E. megabubonis, and morphological data from the original description of E. varia indicates E. varia is a junior synonym of E. megabubonis.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Medina JP, Medina-Valdez H, Sánchez-Jasso JM, García-Albarrán M, Salgado-Miranda C, Soriano-Vargas E (2019) Eimeria aegoliusia n. sp. (Sporozoa: Eimieriidae) from the northern saw-whet owl Aegolius acadicus (Gmelin) (Strigiformes: Strigidae) in Mexico. Syst Parasitol 96(6):521–526. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11230-019-09863-x
Upton SJ, Campbell TW, Weigel M, McKown RD (1990) The Eimeriidae (Apicomplexa) of raptors: review of the literature and description of new species of the genera Caryospora and Eimeria. Can J Zool 68(6):1256–1265. https://doi.org/10.1139/z90-187
McAllister CT, Durden LA, Richardson DM, Hnida JA (2017) Some parasites (Apicomplexa, Trematoda, Nematoda, Acanthocephala, Phthiraptera) of the common great horned owl, Bubo virginianus virginianus (Aves: Strigiformes: Strigidae) from southeastern Oklahoma. Proc Okla Acad Sci 97:83–90
McAllister CT, Hnida JA, Woodyard ET, Rosser TG (2019) Eimeria spp. (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from great horned owls, Bubo virginianus (Gmelin) (Aves: Strigiformes) from Arkansas and Oklahoma, USA, with novel molecular information on Eimeria bubonis Cawthorn & Stockdale, 1981. Syst Parasitol 96:695–702. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11230-019-09881-9
Woodyard ET, Rush SA, Rosser TG (2019) Redescription of Eimeria megabubonis Upton, Campbell, Weigel, & McKown, 1990 (Apicomplexa: Emeriidae) from the great horned owl Bubo virginianus (Gmelin). Syst Parasitol 96(7):585–594. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11230-019-09867-7
R Core Team (2020) R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. https://www.R-project.org/
Wickham H (2016) ggplot2: elegant graphics for data analysis. Springer International Publishing, Switzerland
Yuan T, Horikoshi M, Li WX (2016) ggfortify: Unified interface to visualize statistical results of popular R packages. R J 8(2):474–485. https://doi.org/10.32614/RJ-2016-060
Ogedengbe JD, Hanner RH, Barta JR (2011) DNA barcoding identifies Eimeria species and contributes to the phylogenetics of coccidian parasites (Eimeriorina, Apicomplexa, Alveolata). Int J Parasitol 41(8):843–850. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpara.2011.03.007
Kearse M, Moir R, Wilson A, Stones-Havas S, Cheung M, Sturrock S, Buxton S, Cooper A, Markowitz S, Duran C, Thierer T, Ashton B, Meintjes P, Drummond A (2012) Geneious basic: an integrated and extendable desktop software platform for the organization and analysis of sequence data. Bioinformatics 28(12):1647–1649. https://doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/bts199
Altschul SF, Gish W, Miller W, Myers EW, Lipman DJ (1990) Basic local alignment search tool. J Mol Biol 215(3):403–410. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-2836(05)80360-2
Katoh K, Standley DM (2013) MAFFT Multiple sequence alignment software version 7: improvements in performance and usability. Mol Biol Evol 30(4):772–780. https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/mst010
Kalyaanamoorthy S, Minh BQ, Wong TK, von Haeseler A, Jermiin LS (2017) ModelFinder: fast model selection for accurate phylogenetic estimates. Nat Methods 14:587–589. https://doi.org/10.1038/nmeth.4285
Ronquist F, Huelsenbeck JP (2003) MrBayes 3: Bayesian phylogenetic inference under mixed models. Bioinformatics 19(12):1572–1574. https://doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/btg180
Altekar G, Dwarkadas S, Huelsenbeck JP, Ronquist F (2004) Parallel metropolis coupled Markov chain Monte Carlo for Bayesian phylogenetic inference. Bioinformatics 20(3):407–415. https://doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/btg427
Minh BQ, Schmidt HA, Chernomor O, Schrempf D, Woodhams MD, von Haeseler A, Lanfear R (2020) IQ-TREE 2: new models and efficient methods for phylogenetic inference in the genomic era. Mol Biol Evol 37(5):1530–1534. https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msaa015
Ogedengbe ME, El-Sherry S, Ogedengbe JD, Chapman HD, Barta JR (2018) Phylogenies based on combined mitochondrial and nuclear sequences conflict with morphologically defined genera in the eimeriid coccidia (Apicomplexa). Int J Parasitol 48:59–69. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpara.2017.07.008
Pellérdy LP (1974) Coccidia and coccidiosis. Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest
Upton SJ, McAllister CT, Brillhart DB, Duszynski DW, Wash CD (1992) Cross-transmission studies with Eimeria arizonensis-like oocysts (Apicomplexa) in New World rodents of the genera Baiomys, Neotoma, Onychomys, Peromyscus, and Reithrodontomys (Muridae). J Parasitol 78(3):406–413. https://doi.org/10.2307/3283636
Kvicerova J, Hofmannova L, Scognamiglio F, Santoro M (2020) Eimeria sciurorum (Apicomplexa, Coccidia) from the Calabrian black squirrel (Sciurus meridionalis): an example of lower host specificity of eimerians. Front Vet Sci 7:369. https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2020.00369
Wink M, El-Sayed A-A, Sauer-Gürth H, Gonzalez J (2009) Molecular phylogeny of owls (Strigiformes) inferred from DNA sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b and the nuclear RAG-1 gene. Ardea 97(4):581–591. https://doi.org/10.5253/078.097.0425
Kang H, Li B, Ma XN, Xu YC (2018) Evolutionary progression of mitochondrial gene rearrangements and phylogenetic relationships in Strigidae (Strigiformes). Gene 674:8–14. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gene.2018.06.066
This work was funded in part by the Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences and Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine at Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
The owl from which fecal samples were collected for the present study is housed in compliance with a protocol approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at Mississippi State University for the captive maintenance of wildlife for research and teaching purposes in accordance with federal, local, and institutional rules and regulations.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Woodyard, E.T., Rosser, T.G., Rush, S.A. et al. Eimeria varia Upton, Campbell, Weigel & McKown, 1990 is a Junior Synonym of Eimeria megabubonis Upton, Campbell, Weigel & McKown, 1990. Acta Parasit. (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11686-020-00317-9
- Barred owl
- Eimeria megabubonis
- Eimeria varia
- Strix varia