Molecular identification of Taenia mustelae cysts in subterranean rodent plateau zokors (Eospalax baileyi)|
ZHAO, Fang; MA, Jun-Ying; CAI, Hui-Xia; SU, Jian-Ping; HOU, Zhi-Bin; ZHANG, Tong-Zuo & LIN, Gong-Hua
Cestode larvae spend one phase of their two-phase life cycle in the viscera of rodents, but cases of cestodes infecting subterranean rodents have only been rarely observed. To experimentally gain some insight into this phenomenon, we captured approximately 300 plateau zokors (Eospalax baileyi), a typical subterranean rodent inhabiting the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and examined their livers for the presence of cysts. Totally, we collected five cysts, and using a mitochondrial gene (cox1) and two nuclear genes (pepck and pold) as genetic markers, we were able to analyze the taxonomy of the cysts. Both the maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods showed that the cysts share a monophyly with Taenia mustelae, while Kimura 2-parameter distances and number of different sites between our sequences and T. mustelae were far less than those found between the examined sequences and other Taeniidae species. These results, alongside supporting paraffin section histology, imply that the cysts found in plateau zokors can be regarded as larvae of T. mustelae, illustrating that zokors are a newly discovered intermediate host record of this parasite.
Endoparasites; New host record; Phylogenetic relationships; Subterranean rodent