Morphologic, immunohistochemical, and molecular characterization of a novel lankesterella protozoan in two white's tree frogs (litoria caerulea)

Barbara Gericota, Michael M. Garner, Bradd Barr, Robert Nordhausen, R. Scott Larsen, Linda J Lowenstine, Brian G Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Two White's tree frogs (Litoria caerulea) housed at a zoological park died after a short period of lethargy, weight loss, and edema. Detailed postmortem examinations were performed on both frogs, including bacterial cultures and complete histologic examinations. Intracytoplasmatic as well as free protozoan parasites were identified in multiple organs from both frogs. The parasites were identified within erythrocytes, leukocytes, endothelial cells, and hepatocytes. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated a cross-reaction with Toxoplasma gondii antisera. Parasite ultrastructural analysis was performed by transmission electron microscopy. The parasites demonstrated an apical complex containing a conoid, rhoptries, and micronemes, demonstrating it was a member of the phylum Apicomplexa. In addition, the parasites had bipolar paranuclear bodies, organelles that are typical of coccidian sporozoites. The organisms were tentatively identified as members of the genus Lankesterella on the basis of histologic and ultrastructural morphology. A portion of the 18s ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene was amplified via a polymerase chain reaction, sequenced, and used in a Basic Local Alignment Search Tool search of the GenBank database. The 18s rRNA gene sequence was found to be most similar to gene sequences isolated from Lankesterella organisms (88). In aggregate, these data support the classification of these protozoa as a novel species of Lankesterella. A causal relationship between frog morbidity and protozoal parasitism was not determined. This is the first report of Lankesterella sp. in White's tree frogs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-248
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Volume41
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Fingerprint

Lankesterella
Hylidae
Anura
Protozoa
Parasites
parasites
frogs
18S Ribosomal RNA
Apicomplexa
nucleotide sequences
Sporozoites
Lethargy
sporozoites
Nucleic Acid Databases
Cross Reactions
organisms
Toxoplasma
cell aggregates
Toxoplasma gondii
zoos

Keywords

  • Apicomplexa
  • Lankesterella
  • Litoria caerulea
  • Protozoa
  • White's tree frog

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)

Cite this

Morphologic, immunohistochemical, and molecular characterization of a novel lankesterella protozoan in two white's tree frogs (litoria caerulea). / Gericota, Barbara; Garner, Michael M.; Barr, Bradd; Nordhausen, Robert; Larsen, R. Scott; Lowenstine, Linda J; Murphy, Brian G.

In: Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, Vol. 41, No. 2, 2010, p. 242-248.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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