Folia Parasitologica, vol. 51 (2004), issue 4

Folia Parasitologica 51[4] 299-303 (2004) | 10.14411/fp.2004.037

Fish trypanosomes from the Okavango Delta, Botswana

Nico J. Smit1,2, Jo G. Van As3, Angela J. Davies1
1 School of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science, Kingston University, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, KT1 2EE, UK
2 Department of Zoology, Rand Afrikaans University, P.O. Box 524, Auckland Park, 2006, South Africa
3 Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of the Free State, P.O. Box 339, Bloemfontein, 9300, South Africa

During 2001 and 2002, blood smears from 37 of 120 fishes belonging to 10 species captured in the Okavango Delta region of Botswana, were found to harbour trypanosomes. These trypanosomes displayed differing staining properties, were morphometrically variable, and ranged in total length from 29.5 to 80.8 µm. Mixed populations of the smaller and larger trypanosomes were found in most fish examined. Despite variations in size and appearance, these specimens are tentatively identified as Trypanosoma mukasai Hoare, 1932, likely adding another 9 new hosts to those known for this parasite. It is possible that Trypanosoma clariense Pienaar, 1962, described from Clarias gariepinus in South Africa, is also a junior synonym of T. mukasai.

Keywords: Trypanosoma, fish parasites, Botswana

Received: November 10, 2003; Accepted: February 19, 2004; Published: December 1, 2004


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