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Further characterisation of two Eimeria species (Eimeria quokka and Eimeria setonicis) in quokkas (Setonix brachyurus)

Austen, J.M.ORCID: 0000-0002-1826-1634, Friend, J.A., Yang, R.ORCID: 0000-0003-2563-2015 and Ryan, U.M.ORCID: 0000-0003-2710-9324 (2014) Further characterisation of two Eimeria species (Eimeria quokka and Eimeria setonicis) in quokkas (Setonix brachyurus). Experimental Parasitology, 138 . pp. 48-54.

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The identification and characterisation of novel Eimeria species has largely been based on sporulated oocyst and sporocyst morphology, the host species and the geographical range. Variation in the size and shape of Eimeria oocysts across their host range however, make the identification and characterisation of novel species using traditional methodologies alone problematic. The use of molecular markers and phylogenetic analysis has greatly advanced our ability to characterise Eimeria species and has recently been applied to understand evolutionary relationships among Eimeria species from Australian marsupials.In the present study, Eimeria species isolated from quokkas (Setonix brachyurus) captured from Two Peoples Bay, Bald Island and Rottnest Island, Western Australia, were morphologically identified as Eimeria quokka and Eimeria setonicis. Both Eimeria species were identified as being polymorphic in nature with regards to sporulated oocyst and sporocyst morphometrics. Phylogenetic analysis using 18S rRNA and COI (cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1) genes, grouped E. quokka and E. setonicis within the Eimeria marsupial clade together with Eimeria trichosuri from brushtail possums, Eimeria macropodis from tammar wallabies (Macropus eugenii) and several unidentified macropod Eimeria species from western grey kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus). This study is the first to characterise E. quokka and E. setonicis by molecular analysis, enabling more extensive resolution of evolutionary relationships among marsupial-derived Eimeria species.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Academic Press
Copyright: © 2014 Elsevier Inc.
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