<em>G</em> <em>lugea</em> sp. infecting <em>Sardinella aurita</em> in Algeria

J Parasit Dis. 2022 Sep;46(3):672-685. doi: 10.1007/s12639-022-01483-5. Epub 2022 Apr 13.


Parasitological examination of the commercially important pelagic fish Sardinella aurita Valenciennes, 1847 (Clupeidae) from the Eastern coast of Algeria revealed xenomas in the peritoneal cavity, suggesting a microsporidian infection. The prevalence of the disease was approximately 30% on average, higher in smaller individuals and showing significant seasonal variation. The xenomas contained numerous ellipsoidal spores, surrounded by a dense layer of connective tissue. Spore sizes were 6.10 ± 0.38 µm length and 3.54 ± 0.43 µm width. Ultrastructural examination by transmission electron microscopy showed various development stages of the parasite, including meronts, sporonts, sporoblasts and mature spores. The internal organization of the mature spores, with a single nucleus, prominent posterior vacuole, a lamellar polaroplast and an isofilar polar tube arranged in a single row, was typical of the genus Glugea. The DNA sequence of the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene confirmed that this parasite belongs to the genus Glugea. Genetic and morphologic comparison with G. sardinellensis, a species previously described in the same host from Tunisia shows many similarities, although some molecular and morphometric inconsistencies precluded the unambiguous assignment of our samples to G. sardinellensis. At the same time, we do not find sufficient grounds to erect a new taxon for our parasite. We discuss the implications of our findings for the current state of the systematics of Glugea.

PMID:36091289 | PMC:PMC9458822 | DOI:10.1007/s12639-022-01483-5