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Journal: Parasite (Paris, France)


Many bucephalid species, mainly of the subfamily Prosorhynchinae, have been described from epinepheline serranids (groupers) throughout the World’s Oceans. In this paper eight named prosorhynchine species are described and/or illustrated from epinepheline fishes from New Caledonia. Neidhartia lochepintade n. sp. in Epinephelus chlorostigma differs from other Neidhartia spp. in various combinations of distinct body-size, rhynchus size, previtelline and pre-mouth distance, post-testicular distance, cirrus-sac reach and egg-size. Other species are: Neidhartia haywardi Bott, Miller & Cribb, 2013 in Plectropomus leopardus; Neidhartia tyleri Bott, Miller & Cribb, 2013 in Plectropomus leopardus and Plectropomus laevis; Prosorhynchus freitasi Nagaty, 1937 in Plectropomus leopardus and Plectropomus laevis; Prosorhynchus robertsthomsoni Bott & Cribb, 2009 in Cephalopholis argus; Prosorhynchus longisaccatus Durio & Manter, 1968 in Cephalopholis urodeta, Epinephelus areolatus, Epinephelus cyanopodus and Epinephelus maculatus. Prosorhynchus luzonicus Velasquez, 1959 and Prosorhynchus sp. B. in Epinephelus coioides; Prosorhynchus serrani Durio & Manter, 1968 in Variola albimarginata and Variola louti; Prosorhynchus sp. A in Epinephelus morrhua; Prosorhynchus sp. immature in Epinephelus coeruleopunctatus. The new combination Neidhartia longivesicula (Bilqees, Khalil, Khan, Perveen & Muti-ur-Rehman, 2009) (Syn. Prosorhynchus longivesicula) is formed. Evidence from this paper and earlier molecular studies indicates that there are numerous morphologically similar prosorhynchine species in serranids, most of which show a high degree of host-specificity.

Concepts: Ocean, Epinephelus, Combination, Serranidae, Grouper, Plectropomus, Comet grouper, Cephalopholis


Alveolar echinococcosis (AE) is an endemic zoonosis in France due to the cestode Echinococcus multilocularis. The French National Reference Centre for Alveolar Echinococcosis (CNR-EA), connected to the FrancEchino network, is responsible for recording all AE cases diagnosed in France. Administrative, epidemiological and medical information on the French AE cases may currently be considered exhaustive only on the diagnosis time. To constitute a reference data set, an information system (IS) was developed thanks to a relational database management system (MySQL language). The current data set will evolve towards a dynamic surveillance system, including follow-up data (e.g. imaging, serology) and will be connected to environmental and parasitological data relative to E. multilocularis to better understand the pathogen transmission pathway. A particularly important goal is the possible interoperability of the IS with similar European and other databases abroad; this new IS could play a supporting role in the creation of new AE registries.

Concepts: Database, Cestoda, Databases, SQL, Echinococcus multilocularis, Database management system, Relational database management system, Database model


Accurate egg placement into or onto a living host is an essential ability for many parasitoids, and changes in associated phenotypes, such as ovipositor morphology and behaviour, correlate with significant host shifts. Here, we report that in the ichneumonid group of koinobiont spider-ectoparasitoids (“polysphinctines”), several putatively ancestral taxa (clade I here), parasitic on ground-dwelling RTA-spiders (a group characterised by retrolateral tibial apophysis on male palpal tibiae), lay their eggs in a specific way. They tightly bend their metasoma above the spider’s cephalothorax, touching the carapace with the dorsal side of the ovipositor apically (“dorsal-press”). The egg slips out from the middle part of the ventral side of the ovipositor and moves towards its apex with the parted lower valves acting as rails. Deposition occurs as the parasitoid draws the ovipositor backwards from under the egg. Oviposition upon the tough carapace of the cephalothorax, presumably less palatable than the abdomen, is conserved in these taxa, and presumed adaptive through avoiding physical damage to the developing parasitoid. This specific way of oviposition is reversed in the putatively derived clade of polysphinctines (clade II here) parasitic on Araneoidea spiders with aerial webs, which is already known. They bend their metasoma along the spider’s abdomen, grasping the abdomen with their fore/mid legs, pressing the ventral tip of the metasoma and the lower valves of the ovipositor against the abdomen (“ventral-press”). The egg is expelled through an expansion of the lower valves, which is developed only in this clade and evident in most species, onto the softer and presumably more nutritious abdomen.

Concepts: Insect, Abdomen, Arachnid, Wasp, Ant, Hymenoptera, Parasitoid, Animal anatomy


We revised a collection of chewing lice deposited at the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Saint Petersburg, Russia. We studied 60 slides with 107 specimens of 10 species of the genus Ricinus (De Geer, 1778). The collection includes lectotype specimens of Ricinus ivanovi Blagoveshtchensky, 1951 and of Ricinus tugarinovi Blagoveshtchensky, 1951. We registered Ricinus elongatus Olfers, 1816 ex Turdus ruficollis, R. ivanovi ex Leucosticte tephrocotis and Ricinus serratus (Durrant, 1906) ex Calandrella acutirostris and Calandrella cheleensis which were not included in Price’s world checklist. New records for Russia are R. elongatus ex Turdus ruficollis; Ricinus fringillae De Geer, 1778 ex Emberiza aureola, Emberiza leucocephalos, Emberiza rustica, Passer montanus and Prunella modularis; Ricinus rubeculae De Geer, 1778 ex Erithacus rubecula and Luscinia svecica; Ricinus serratus (Durrant, 1906) ex Alauda arvensis. New records for Kyrgyzstan are R. fringillae ex E. leucocephalos and ex Fringilla coelebs. A new record for Tajikistan is R. serratus ex Calandrella acutirostris. The new species Ricinus vaderi Valan n. sp. is described with Calandra lark, Melanocorypha calandra; from Azerbaijan, as a type host.

Concepts: Birds of Europe, Birds of Turkey, Birds of Pakistan, Genera of birds, Lark, Birds of Asia, Melanocorypha, Calandra Lark


In France, some cases of severe toxoplasmosis have been linked to the consumption of horse meat that had been imported from the American continent where atypical strains of Toxoplasma gondii are more common than in Europe. Many seroprevalence studies are presented in the literature but risk assessment of T. gondii infection after horse meat consumption is not possible in the absence of validated serological tests and the unknown correlation between detection of antibodies against T. gondii and presence of tissue cysts. We performed magnetic-capture polymerase chain reaction (MC-PCR) to detect T. gondii DNA in 231 horse meat samples purchased in supermarkets in France and evaluated the performance and level of agreement of the modified agglutination test (MAT) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in the meat juices. The serological tests lacked sensitivity, specificity, and agreement between them, and there was no correlation with the presence of T. gondii DNA in horse meat, raising concerns about the reliability of T. gondii seroprevalence data in horses from the literature. T. gondii DNA was detected in 43% of horse meat samples but the absence of strain isolation in mice following inoculation of more than 100 horse meat samples suggests a low distribution of cysts in skeletal muscles and a low risk of T. gondii infection associated with horse meat consumption. However, to avoid any risk of toxoplasmosis, thorough cooking of horse meat is recommended.

Concepts: Antibody, Apicomplexa, ELISA, ELISPOT, Rat, Toxoplasmosis, Toxoplasma gondii, Serology


Free-living amoebae of the genus Acanthamoeba are causal agents of a severe sight-threatening infection of the cornea known as Acanthamoeba keratitis. Moreover, the number of reported cases worldwide is increasing year after year, mostly in contact lens wearers, although cases have also been reported in non-contact lens wearers. Interestingly, Acanthamoeba keratitis has remained significant, despite our advances in antimicrobial chemotherapy and supportive care. In part, this is due to an incomplete understanding of the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of the disease, diagnostic delays and problems associated with chemotherapeutic interventions. In view of the devastating nature of this disease, here we present our current understanding of Acanthamoeba keratitis and molecular mechanisms associated with the disease, as well as virulence traits of Acanthamoeba that may be potential targets for improved diagnosis, therapeutic interventions and/or for the development of preventative measures. Novel molecular approaches such as proteomics, RNAi and a consensus in the diagnostic approaches for a suspected case of Acanthamoeba keratitis are proposed and reviewed based on data which have been compiled after years of working on this amoebic organism using many different techniques and listening to many experts in this field at conferences, workshops and international meetings. Altogether, this review may serve as the milestone for developing an effective solution for the prevention, control and treatment of Acanthamoeba infections.

Concepts: Immune system, Infectious disease, Infection, Cornea, Contact lens, Keratitis, Acanthamoeba, Amoeboid


Chemical, physical, and mechanical methods are used to control human lice. Attempts have been made to eradicate head lice Pediculus humanus capitis by hot air, soaking in various fluids or asphyxiation using occlusive treatments. In this study, we assessed the maximum time that head lice can survive anoxia (oxygen deprivation) and their ability to survive prolonged water immersion. We also observed the ingress of fluids across louse tracheae and spiracle characteristics contrasting with those described in the literature. We showed that 100% of lice can withstand 8 h of anoxia and 12.2% survived 14 h of anoxia; survival was 48.9% in the untreated control group at 14 h. However, all lice had died following 16 h of anoxia. In contrast, the survival rate of water-immersed lice was significantly higher when compared with non-immersed lice after 6 h (100% vs. 76.6%, p = 0.0037), and 24 h (50.9% vs. 15.9%, p = 0.0003). Although water-immersed lice did not close their spiracles, water did not penetrate into the respiratory system. In contrast, immersion in colored dimeticone/cyclomethicone or colored ethanol resulted in penetration through the spiracles and spreading to the entire respiratory system within 30 min, leading to death in 100% of the lice.

Concepts: Head louse, Louse


Sperm ultrastructure provides morphological characters useful for understanding phylogeny; no study was available for two basal branches of the Polyopisthocotylea, the Chimaericolidea and Diclybothriidea. We describe here spermiogenesis and sperm in Chimaericola leptogaster (Chimaericolidae) and Rajonchocotyle emarginata (Hexabothriidae), and sperm in Callorhynchocotyle callorhynchi (Hexabothriidae). Spermiogenesis in C. leptogaster and R. emarginata shows the usual pattern of most Polyopisthocotylea with typical zones of differentiation and proximo-distal fusion of the flagella. In all three species, the structure of the spermatozoon is biflagellate, with two incorporated trepaxonematan 9 + "1" axonemes and a posterior nucleus. However, unexpected structures were also seen. An alleged synapomorphy of the Polyopisthocotylea is the presence of a continuous row of longitudinal microtubules in the nuclear region. The sperm of C. leptogaster has a posterior part with a single axoneme, and the part with the nucleus is devoid of the continuous row of microtubules. The spermatozoon of R. emarginata has an anterior region with membrane ornamentation, and posterior lateral microtubules are absent. The spermatozoon of C. callorhynchi has transverse sections with only dorsal and ventral microtubules, and its posterior part shows flat sections containing a single axoneme and the nucleus. These findings have important implications for phylogeny and for the definition of synapomorphies in the Neodermata. We point out a series of discrepancies between actual data and interpretation of character states in the matrix of a phylogeny of the Monogenea. Our main conclusion is that the synapomorphy “lateral microtubules in the principal region of the spermatozoon” does not define the Polyopisthocotylea but is restricted to the Mazocraeidea.

Concepts: Eukaryote, Sperm, Spermatozoon, Flagellum, Cytoskeleton, Phylogenetics, Cladistics, Monogenea


Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato is a zoonotic agent with a life cycle consisting of definitive hosts (dogs and wild carnivores), and intermediate hosts (usually ungulates). Other animals and humans may accidentally ingest eggs and contract cystic echinococcosis, acting as aberrant hosts. A 3-year-old neutered female cat was brought to a veterinary practice in Sassari (Italy) with abdominal distension. Ultrasound showed multiple intraperitoneal vesicles, which on laparotomy were found to be metacestodes of E. granulosus. Videos of the extraction of cysts are provided. Phylogenetic analysis based on a fragment of the cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) mitochondrial gene identified the isolate as E. granulosus sensu stricto genotype G1, the most common genotype circulating in Europe and the Mediterranean basin. This is the first case report of cystic echinococcosis in domestic cats from Italy.


Laboratory colonies of phlebotomine sand flies are necessary for experimental study of their biology, behaviour and mutual relations with disease agents and for testing new methods of vector control. They are indispensable in genetic studies and controlled observations on the physiology and behaviour of sand flies, neglected subjects of high priority. Colonies are of particular value for screening insecticides. Colonized sand flies are used as live vector models in a diverse array of research projects, including xenodiagnosis, that are directed toward control of leishmaniasis and other sand fly-associated diseases. Historically, labour-intensive maintenance and low productivity have limited their usefulness for research, especially for species that do not adapt well to laboratory conditions. However, with growing interest in leishmaniasis research, rearing techniques have been developed and refined, and sand fly colonies have become more common, enabling many significant breakthroughs. Today, there are at least 90 colonies representing 21 distinct phlebotomine sand fly species in 35 laboratories in 18 countries worldwide. The materials and methods used by various sand fly workers differ, dictated by the availability of resources, cost or manpower constraints rather than choice. This paper is not intended as a comprehensive review but rather a discussion of methods and techniques most commonly used by researchers to initiate, establish and maintain sand fly colonies, with emphasis on the methods proven to be most effective for the species the authors have colonized. Topics discussed include collecting sand flies for colony stock, colony initiation, maintenance and mass-rearing procedures, and control of sand fly pathogens in colonies.

Concepts: Nematocera, Mosquito, Order, Flies, Fly, Colonialism, Phlebotominae, Colony