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Acta Parasitologica

, Volume 60, Issue 2, pp 266–274 | Cite as

First report of Hepatozoon (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina) from king ratsnakes (Elaphe carinata) in Shanghai, with description of a new species

  • Hongyu Han
  • Youling Wu
  • Hui Dong
  • Shunhai Zhu
  • Liujia Li
  • Qiping Zhao
  • Di Wu
  • Enle Pei
  • Yange Wang
  • Bing HuangEmail author
Article

Abstract

Hepatozoon species are the most common hemoparasites of snakes. In this study, Hepatozoon parasites were examined for the first time in king rat snakes (Elaphe carinata) from Shanghai, China. All 10 snakes were found to be infected with Hepatozoon gamonts. The gamonts were folded back in a hook-wise fashion for about 3 μm at one end. Parasitemia levels ranged from 4–43 infected erythrocytes per 1,000 examined. The gamonts changed the morphology of the parasitized erythrocytes. Although the gamonts showed some distinct variations in both the parasite and its nucleus, phylogenetic analysis indicated that all the E. carinata in this study formed a monophyletic group, and were distinct from all other published Hepatozoon species. A new species, Hepatozoon chinensis, was proposed based on the molecular and morphologic evidence.

Keywords

Protozoa Hepatozoon Elaphe carinata snake 

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Copyright information

© Witold Stefański Institute of Parasitology, Polish Academy of Sciences 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hongyu Han
    • 1
  • Youling Wu
    • 1
  • Hui Dong
    • 1
  • Shunhai Zhu
    • 1
  • Liujia Li
    • 1
  • Qiping Zhao
    • 1
  • Di Wu
    • 2
  • Enle Pei
    • 2
  • Yange Wang
    • 1
  • Bing Huang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Animal Parasitology of Ministry of AgricultureShanghai Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural ScienceShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Department of Wildlife Protection AdministrationShanghaiChina

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