Parasitology

Research Article

Morphological and molecular characterization of Trypanosoma copemani n. sp. (Trypanosomatidae) isolated from Gilbert's potoroo (Potorous gilbertii) and quokka (Setonix brachyurus)

J. M. AUSTENa1, R. JEFFERIESa3, J. A. FRIENDa2, U. RYANa1, P. ADAMSa1 and S. A. REIDa1 c1

a1 School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Division of Health Sciences, Murdoch University, South Street, Murdoch, Western Australia, 6150

a2 Science Division, Department of Environment and Conservation, 120 Albany Highway, Albany, Western Australia, 6330

a3 School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, Woodland Road, Bristol BS8 1UG, UK

SUMMARY

Little is known of the prevalence and life-cycle of trypanosomes in mammals native to Australia. Native Australian trypanosomes have previously been identified in marsupials in the eastern states of Australia, with one recent report in brush-tailed bettongs (Bettongia penicillata), or woylie in Western Australia in 2008. This study reports a novel Trypanosoma sp. identified in blood smears, from 7 critically endangered Gilbert's potoroos (Potorous gilbertii) and 3 quokkas (Setonix brachyurus) in Western Australia. Trypanosomes were successfully cultured in vitro and showed morphological characteristics similar to members of the subgenus Herpetosoma. Phylogenetic analysis of 18S rRNA gene sequences identified 2 different novel genotypes A and B that are closely related to trypanosomes previously isolated from a common wombat (Vombatus ursinus) in Victoria, Australia. The new species is proposed to be named Trypanosoma copemani n. sp.

(Received December 14 2008)

(Revised January 29 2009)

(Accepted February 12 2009)

(Online publication May 06 2009)

Correspondence:

c1 Corresponding author: School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Division of Health Sciences, Murdoch University, South Street, Murdoch, Western Australia, 6150. Tel: +61 8 9360 7423. Fax: +61 8 9310 4144. E-mail: s.reid@murdoch.edu.au

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