24 February 2021
The Amphibia are considered the most threatened vertebrate class globally, yet in Brazil they are also one of the more diverse and species rich groups. Although, in recent years there has been strong focus on amphibian related research, their parasites have not received the same attention. In Brazil, only a single species of Hepatozoon, namely H. leptodactyli (Lesage, 1908) Pessoa, 1970, has been described from anuran hosts. The present study aimed to describe three new species of Hepatozoon parasitising Leptodactylus labyrinthicus and Leptodactylus latrans from Mato Grosso State, Brazil. From 66 anurans screened for haemogregarines, four belonging to the Leptodactylidae were found positive for species of Hepatozoon. Based on the morphological analysis of peripheral blood gamonts and spleen and liver tissue meronts, three different morphotypes of Hepatozoon spp. were identified. Morphotype 1 (M1) and morphotype 2 (M2) in L. labyrinthicus and morphotype 3 (M3) in L. latrans. Molecular data based on partial 18S rDNA sequences revealed an interspecific divergence, between the species ranging from 0.43% to 1.16%. Phylogenetic analysis recovered isolates from the present study monophyletic with other isolates from Brazilian reptile and anuran hosts, sister to a clade comprising species isolated from African, North American and European reptile and anuran host species. Thus, using morphological and molecular analysis three new species infecting Brazilian Leptodactylidae anurans were identified and described. This study increases the knowledge of Brazilian anurans blood parasites and demonstrates the importance of using integrative approaches for diagnosis of hemoparasites.
Diversity and phylogenetic relationship of haemogregarines from Brazilian anurans.
Description of a three new species of Hepatozoon from Brazilian anurans.
First report of species of Hepatozoon descriptions using both morphological and molecular approaches from Brazilian anurans.
Merogonic data of Hepatozoon spp. infection on Brazilian anurans.