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Acta Parasitologica

, Volume 59, Issue 2, pp 294–300 | Cite as

Redescription of Haemogregarina garnhami (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina) from the blood of Psammophis schokari (Serpentes: Colubridae) as Hepatozoon garnhami n. comb. based on molecular, morphometric and morphologic characters

Original Paper
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Abstract

Hepatozoon garnhami n. comb. was redescribed from Schokari sand snakes (Psammophis schokari) collected from Riyadh city in Saudi Arabia. Gametocytes were found in the peripheral blood of 2 of 15 snakes examined. Based on the similar morphological and morphometric characteristics, the same host and a similar host habitat environment, it can be concluded for the first time that the present species is conspecific with Haemogregarina garnhami previously reported from Psammophis shokari aegyptius. To further characterize this parasite, the partial 18S rRNA gene was amplified and sequenced. The sequence analysis also showed that Haemogregarina garnhami should be reassigned into the genus Hepatozoon as Hepatozoon garnhami which has 99.5% (859/863 bp) sequence similarity to Hepatozoon ayorgbor, infecting the erythrocytes of Python regius in Ghana. Phylogenetic analysis showed that H. garnhami formed a mixed clade with Hepatozoon spp. from geckos, snakes and rodents and ophidian Hepatozoon spp. did not form a separated phylogenetic unit. Also, Psammophis schokari-infecting Hepatozoon contained several different genetic lineages. To our knowledge, the present work extends the geographic distribution of H. garnhami and is the first report of Hepatozoon infection in snakes from Saudi Arabia.

Keywords

Haemogregarine Psammophis schokari snake gamont 18S rRNA 

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Copyright information

© Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Wien 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Zoology DepartmentCollege of Science, King Saud University, Saudi ArabiaRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Zoology Department, Faculty of ScienceBeni-Suef UniversityBeni-SuefEgypt
  3. 3.Institute of HydrobiologyChinese Academy of SciencesWuhan, Hubei ProvincePR China

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