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Parasitology International
Vol. 67 (2), 2018, Pages: 115-118

DNA barcoding of metacestodes found in the Guerlinguetus ingrami (Rodentia: Sciuridae) reveals the occurrence of Hydatigera taeniaeformis sensu stricto (Cyclophyllidea: Taeniidae) in the Americas

Érica Munhoz Melloa, Luis Fernando Viana Furtado, Élida Mara Leite Rabelo, Hudson Alves Pinto

Departamento de Parasitologia, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.


The existence of cryptic species in the genus Hydatigera, cyclophillid cestodes, mainly of felids, was recently described based on molecular studies of parasites from Asia, Europe and Africa. However, the occurrence of H. taeniaeformis sensu stricto (s.s.), the species more widely distributed and with a presumed specificity for murid rodents as intermediate hosts, has not been formally described in Americas. In the present study, during necropsy of an Ingram's squirrel specimen, Guerlinguetus ingrami, found dead in the municipality of Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais state, Brazil, strobilocerci were found in the liver. The metacestodes were subjected to morphological and molecular studies. Sequences of the COI barcode region were obtained and used for phylogenetic analyses. The morphology and measures of the rostellar hooks were compatible with the ones described for H. taeniaeformis s.s. This identification was confirmed by a molecular phylogenetic approach (96.2–99.7% similarity with isolates of the parasite from Europe and Asia). This is the first molecular confirmation of the existence of H. taeniaeformis s.s. on the American continent. Moreover, the involvement of sciurid rodents in the transmission of H. taeniaeformis s.s. is discussed here as a probable case of parasite spillover.

Graphical abstract

Keywords: Barcoding, Metacestode, Squirrel, Strobilocercus.

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