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Revista Brasileira de Parasitologia Veterinária

Print version ISSN 0103-846XOn-line version ISSN 1984-2961


MANSOUR, Lamjed et al. Hepatozoon pyramidumi sp. n. (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina) from the blood of Echis pyramidum: morphology and SSU rDNA sequence. Rev. Bras. Parasitol. Vet. [online]. 2020, vol.29, n.2, e002420.  Epub May 18, 2020. ISSN 1984-2961.

Hepatozoon pyramidumi sp. n. is described from the blood of the Egyptian saw-scaled viper, Echis pyramidum, captured from Saudi Arabia. Five out of ten viper specimens examined (50%) were found infected with Hepatozoon pyramidumi sp. n. with parasitaemia level ranged from 20-30%. The infection was restricted only to the erythrocytes. Two morphologically different forms of intraerythrocytic stages were observed; small and mature gamonts. The small ganomt with average size of 10.7 × 3.5 μm. Mature gamont was sausage-shaped with recurved poles measuring 16.3 × 4.2 μm in average size. Infected erythrocytes were hypertrophied; their nuclei were deformed and sometimes displaced from their central position in the normal uninfected cell. Merogonic stages were observed in the lung endothelial cell and the liver parenchyma cells. Mature meront was 17.8 × 13.6 µm and contained banana-shaped merozoites with average size of ~15 × 2 µm. Phylogenetic analysis based on the SSU rDNA sequence clustered Hepatozoon pyramidumi sp. n with previously sequenced Hepatozoon spp., most of them infected reptilian hosts without geographic consideration. The morphological and molecular comparison with closely related species proved the taxonomic uniqueness and novelty of the present form.

Keywords : Haemogregarine; snake; new species; phylogeny; Saudi Arabia.

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