Folia Parasitologica, vol. 63 (2016)

Folia Parasitologica 63:021 (2016) | DOI: 10.14411/fp.2016.021

A synopsis of records of myxozoan parasites (Cnidaria: Myxozoa) from shrews, with additional data on Soricimyxum fegati from common shrew Sorex araneus in Hungary and pygmy shrew Sorex minutus in Slovakia

Csaba Székely1, Stephen D. Atkinson2, Kálmán Molnár1, László Egyed1, András Gubányi3, Gábor Cech1
1 Institute for Veterinary Medical Research, Centre for Agricultural Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary;
2 Department of Microbiology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA;
3 Department of Zoology, Hungarian Natural History Museum, Budapest

Myxozoans (Cnidaria: Myxozoa) are almost exclusively endoparasites of aquatic vertebrates and invertebrates, with the notable exception being two species of Soricimyxum Prunescu, Prunescu, Pucek et Lom, 2007 described from terrestrial shrews (Soricidae) in central Europe. Myxospores of the two parasites are morphologically indistinguishable, but have SSU rDNA sequences that differ by about 4%. Herein, we report additional molecular and histology data from Soricimyxum fegati Prunescu, Prunescu, Pucek et Lom, 2007 from common shrew (Sorex araneus Linnaeus) from Hungary, and add a new geographic record for S. fegati in pygmy shrew (Sorex minutus Linnaeus) from Slovakia. A limited survey of shrews from the northern United States, Blarina brevicauda Say and Sorex sp. from New York, and Sorex spp. from Oregon, did not discover any infections, which is in stark contrast to the relatively high infection rates (up to 66%) in European shrew populations. We also provide a summary and discussion of literature records of species of Soricimyxum and a host survey. Given the lack of distinguishing morphological or morphometric characters between Soricimyxum spp., and the overlap in vertebrate hosts and geographic ranges, unambiguous identification of these closely related shrew parasites can presently only be achieved through sequence comparison of one or more variable SSU rDNA regions.

Keywords: Eurasian shrew, Eurasian pygmy shrew, myxozoan infection, bile ducts, liver, mammal hosts, Central Europe

Received: December 10, 2015; Accepted: June 8, 2016; Published online: June 13, 2016


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