Molecular characterization of Eimeria sp. from Galápagos giant tortoises (Chelonoidis spp.)
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Galápagos giant tortoises are an essential component of their ecosystem and evaluation of parasites in their populations is essential for the management of conservation processes. Coccidiosis is the most common intestinal infection in free-living and captive reptiles. The aim of this study was to characterize molecularly the presence of Eimeria sp. in captive reared giant tortoises from Santa Cruz, Santiago, Española, and Pinzon Islands hatched and housed at the tortoise rearing center on Santa Cruz Island, Galápagos, by sequencing of the 18S rRNA gene. Galápagos. All samples were previously analyzed by coproparasitoscopic flotation technique and PCR for molecular identification. The results obtained by microscopy examination showed oocysts in all samples. PCR and sequencing indicated the presence Eimeria sp., showing a similarity percentage of 98% with Eimeria environmental. In conclusion, we identified a group of coccidia of the genus Eimeria sp. (MK909931) in Galápagos tortoises.
KeywordsMolecular characterization Eimeria sp. Giant tortoises Chelonoidis spp. Galápagos
Special thanks to the Galápagos National Park Directorate for permitting this study, and the Laboratory of Animal Biotechnology, Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas (ESPE) for their provision of the reagents and the use of equipment.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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