Folia Parasitologica 55 81-94 (2008) | DOI: 10.14411/fp.2008.011
Cryptosporidium fragile sp. n. (Apicomplexa) is described from black-spined toads, Duttaphrynus melanostictus (Schneider) (Amphibia, Anura, Bufonidae) from the Malay Peninsula. The parasitized animals were directly imported from Malaysia and harboured C. fragile at the time of arrival. Oocysts were subspherical to elliptical with irregular contour in optical section, measuring 6.2 (5.5-7.0) × 5.5 (5.0-6.5) µm. Oocyst wall was smooth and colourless in light microscopy. The endogenous development of C. fragile in the stomach of black-spined toad was analysed in detail using light and electron microscopy. Cryptosporidian developmental stages were confined to the surface of gastric epithelial cells. In transmission experiments, C. fragile has not been infective for one fish species, four amphibian species, one species of reptile and SCID mice. Full length small subunit rRNA gene sequence was obtained. Phylogenetic reconstruction revealed distinct status of C. fragile within the clade of species with gastric localisation including Cryptosporidium muris Tyzzer, 1907, Cryptosporidium serpentis Levine, 1980 and Cryptosporidium andersoni Lindsay, Upton, Owens, Morgan, Mead et Blagburn, 2000. Described characteristics differentiate C. fragile from the currently recognized Cryptosporidium species. Our experience with the description of C. fragile has led us to revise the recommended criteria for an introduction of a new Cryptosporidium species name. C. fragile is the first species described and named from an amphibian host. Its prevalence of 83% (15/18) in black-spined toads within the 3 months after importation calls for strict quarantine measures and import regulation for lower vertebrates.
Received: November 2, 2007; Accepted: January 14, 2008; Published: June 1, 2008