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First report of Trypanosoma dionisii (Trypanosomatidae) identified in Australia

Austen, J.M.ORCID: 0000-0002-1826-1634, Van Kampen, E., Egan, S.L.ORCID: 0000-0003-4395-4069, O'Dea, M.A.ORCID: 0000-0002-2757-7585, Jackson, B.ORCID: 0000-0002-8622-8035, Ryan, U.M.ORCID: 0000-0003-2710-9324, Irwin, P.J.ORCID: 0000-0002-0006-8262 and Prada, D. (2020) First report of Trypanosoma dionisii (Trypanosomatidae) identified in Australia. Parasitology, 147 (14). pp. 1801-1809.

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Trypanosomes are blood-borne parasites that can infect a variety of different vertebrates, including animals and humans. This study aims to broaden scientific knowledge about the presence and biodiversity of trypanosomes in Australian bats. Molecular and morphological analysis was performed on 86 blood samples collected from seven different species of microbats in Western Australia. Phylogenetic analysis on 18S rDNA and glycosomal glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) sequences identified Trypanosoma dionisii in five different Australian native species of microbats; Chalinolobus gouldii, Chalinolobus morio, Nyctophilus geoffroyi, Nyctophilus major and Scotorepens balstoni. In addition, two novel, genetically distinct T. dionisii genotypes were detected and named T. dionisii genotype Aus 1 and T. dionisii genotype Aus 2. Genotype Aus 2 was the most prevalent and infected 20.9% (18/86) of bats in the present study, while genotype Aus 1 was less prevalent and was identified in 5.8% (5/86) of Australian bats. Morphological analysis was conducted on trypomastigotes identified in blood films, with morphological parameters consistent with trypanosome species in the subgenus Schizotrypanum. This is the first report of T. dionisii in Australia and in Australian native bats, which further contributes to the global distribution of this cosmopolitan bat trypanosome.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Veterinary Medicine
Vector and Waterborne Pathogens Research Group
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Copyright: © The Author(s) 2020
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