Acta Parasitologica

, Volume 64, Issue 2, pp 316–330 | Cite as

Prevalence, Morphological and Molecular Phylogenetic Analyses of the Rabbit Pinworm, Passalurus ambiguus Rudolphi 1819, in the Domestic Rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus

  • Rewaida Abdel-GaberEmail author
  • Farid Ataya
  • Dalia Fouad
  • Mohamed Daoud
  • Shatha Alzuhairy
Original Paper



Passalurus ambiguus, a pinworm nematode parasite, infects domestic and wild rabbits, hares, and rodents worldwide.

Materials and Methods

The current parasitological study was performed during January–December 2016, to investigate helminth parasites infecting the domestic rabbit species Oryctolagus cuniculus at the Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.


Of the twenty rabbit specimens examined for gastrointestinal nematodes, 75% were infected with adult oxyurid species, which were morphologically characterized using light and scanning electron microscopy studies. The oxyurid species had a triangular mouth opening surrounded by simple lips with four cephalic papillae and a pair of lateral amphidial pores with three teeth-like structures, an esophagus divided into a cylindrical corpus and globular bulb supported internally with tri-radiate valvular apparatus, and four caudal papillae distributed on the posterior end of males with a single short protruding spicule and ovijector apparatus opening ventrally by the vulva, surrounded by protruded lips in female worms. The species were compared morphometrically with other Passalurus species described previously; light differences were found in different body part sizes. Molecular characterization based on 18 small subunit (SSU) rDNA sequences showed ~ 85% similarity with other Chromadorea species. A preliminary genetic comparison between the 18S rDNA sequences of the isolated parasite and those of other oxyurid species suggested that it belonged to Passalurus ambiguus. The 18S rDNA sequence of the parasite was deposited in GenBank (accession no., MG310151.1).


The 18S rDNA gene of P. ambiguus was shown to yield a unique genetic sequence that confirms its taxonomic position within the Oxyuridae family.


Laboratory animals Oryctolagus cuniculus Passalurus spp. Morphological description Molecular phylogenetic analysis 



The authors would like to extend their sincere appreciation to the Deanship of Scientific Research at King Saud University for its funding this Research Group No. RGP-VPP- 173.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures contributing to this work comply with the ethical standards of the relevant national guides on the care and use of laboratory animals and have been approved and authorized by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) in Faculty of Science, Cairo University, Egypt [CU/I/S/18-16].


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Copyright information

© Witold Stefański Institute of Parasitology, Polish Academy of Sciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rewaida Abdel-Gaber
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Farid Ataya
    • 3
    • 4
  • Dalia Fouad
    • 1
    • 5
  • Mohamed Daoud
    • 3
  • Shatha Alzuhairy
    • 6
  1. 1.Zoology Department, College of ScienceKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Zoology Department, Faculty of ScienceCairo UniversityCairoEgypt
  3. 3.Department of Biochemistry, College of ScienceKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  4. 4.Genetic Engineering Division, Molecular Biology DepartmentNational Research CentreCairoEgypt
  5. 5.Department of Zoology and Entomology, Faculty of ScienceHelwan UniversityHelwanEgypt
  6. 6.Electron Microscopy Unit, Central LaboratoryKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia

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