Folia Parasitologica 51[2/3] 221-227 (2004) | DOI: 10.14411/fp.2004.027
An unidentified myxosporean parasite (CKX) is described from the kidney of approximately 80% of spawning coho salmon Oncorhynchus kisutch (Walbaum) in British Columbia, Canada and Washington, United States of America. Morphological features were described using light and electron microscopy. Sequencing of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplified 18S ribosomal RNA gene and in situ hybridisation were used to further characterise CKX. The parasite occurred with a focal distribution within tubule epithelial cells, the tubule lumen and the interstitium as primary cells containing from one to at least 16 secondary cells. Luminal stages were degenerate and sporogony was not observed. In situ hybridisation using a digoxygenin-labelled DNA probe confirmed CKX to be the source of DNA used in PCR analyses. CKX 18S rDNA sequences were most similar (97%) to those of Sphaerospora oncorhynchi. Phylogenetic analysis revealed similarities among the 18S rDNA sequences of CKX, S. oncorhynchi and Myxidium lieberkuehni. CKX is hypothesised to be the abortive extrasporogonic development of a Sphaerospora sp. or Myxidium sp. occurring in immune-incompetent spawning and senescent salmon.
Received: January 5, 2004; Accepted: April 22, 2004; Published: June 1, 2004