Babesia leo n. sp. from lions in the Kruger National Park, South Africa, and its relation to other small piroplasms

B. L. Penzhorn, A. M. Kjemtrup, L. M. López-Rebollar, Patricia A Conrad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

Babesia leo, a small piroplasm isolated from lions in South Africa is described as a distinct species based on a phylogenetic analysis of the 18S rRNA gene. Intraerythrocytic trophozoite and merozoite stages of B. leo are morphologically indistinguishable from other small piroplasms of felids. Previous studies showed that B. leo was biologically and antigenically distinct from B. felis, which is known to infect wild and domestic felids in South Africa. Molecular characterization showed strong support for the phylogenetic seperation of B. leo as a distinct species from B. felis and other felid piroplasms. Phylogenetic analysis also showed that Babesia microti and all of the felid piroplasms from Africa with known 18S rRNA gene sequences available, including B. leo, formed a single, separate clade, sister to the other babesial and theilerial piroplasm parasites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)681-685
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Parasitology
Volume87
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology

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