Parasitology

Research Article

Molecular identification of Taenia spp. in the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) from Finland

A. LAVIKAINENa1 c1, V. HAUKISALMIa2a3, G. DEKSNEa4a5, K. HOLMALAa6, M. LEJEUNEa7, M. ISOMURSUa8, P. JOKELAINENa9, A. NÄREAHOa9, J. LAAKKONENa9, E. P. HOBERGa10 and A. SUKURAa9

a1 Department of Bacteriology and Immunology, Infection Biology Program, Haartman Institute, P.O. Box 21, FI-00014, University of Helsinki, Finland

a2 Vantaa Research Unit, Finnish Forest Research Institute, P.O. Box 18, FI-01301, Vantaa, Finland

a3 Finnish Museum of Natural History, P.O. Box 17, FI-00014, University of Helsinki, Finland

a4 Institute of Food Safety, Animal Health and Environment ‘BIOR’, Lejupes Street 3, Riga, Latvia

a5 Institute of Systematic Biology, Daugavpils University, Vienibas Street 13, Daugavpils, Latvia

a6 Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute FGFRI, P.O. Box 2, FI-00791 Helsinki, Finland

a7 Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, 2513, Health Sciences Centre, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

a8 Production Animal and Wildlife Research Unit, Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira, Elektroniikkatie 3, FI-90590, Oulu, Finland

a9 Department of Veterinary Biosciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, P.O. Box 66, FI-00014, University of Helsinki, Finland

a10 US National Parasite Collection, ARS, USDA, Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory, BARC East 1180, 10300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA

SUMMARY

Cestodes of the genus Taenia are parasites of mammals, with mainly carnivores as definitive and herbivores as intermediate hosts. Various medium-sized cats, Lynx spp., are involved in the life cycles of several species of Taenia. The aim of the present study was to identify Taenia tapeworms in the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) from Finland. In total, 135 tapeworms from 72 lynx were subjected to molecular identification based on sequences of 2 mtDNA regions, the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 and the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1 genes. Available morphological characters of the rostellar hooks and strobila were compared. Two species of Taenia were found: T. laticollis (127 samples) and an unknown Taenia sp. (5 samples). The latter could not be identified to species based on mtDNA, and the rostellar hooks were short relative to those described among other Taenia spp. recorded in felids from the Holarctic region. In the phylogenetic analyses of mtDNA sequences, T. laticollis was placed as a sister species of T. macrocystis, and the unknown Taenia sp. was closely related to T. hydatigena and T. regis. Our analyses suggest that these distinct taeniid tapeworms represent a putative new species of Taenia. The only currently recognized definitive host is L. lynx and the intermediate host is unknown.

(Received September 25 2012)

(Revised November 07 2012)

(Accepted November 21 2012)

(Online publication January 25 2013)

Key words

  • Taenia laticollis ;
  • Taenia sp.;
  • mtDNA;
  • phylogeny;
  • lynx

Correspondence

c1 Corresponding author: Department of Bacteriology and Immunology, Haartman Institute, P.O. Box 21, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland. Tel. +358919126891. Fax: +358919126382. E-mail: antti.lavikainen@helsinki.fi

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