Molecular Evidence of Sarcocystis Species Infecting Reptiles in Peninsular Malaysia

  • Nahdatul Fatihah MOHD FADIL Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Tengku Idzzan Nadzirah TENGKU-IDRIS Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Department of Diagnostic and Allied Health Science, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Management & Science University, Selangor, Malaysia
  • Shahhaziq SHAHARI Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Mun Yik FONG Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Yee Ling LAU Mail Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Keywords:
Sarcocystis, Sarcocystosis, Snake, 18S rDNA, Phylogenetic analysis, Malaysia

Abstract

The genus Sarcocystis consists of intracellular coccidian protozoan parasites with the ability to invade muscle tissue and mature into sarcocysts, causing the zoonotic disease sarcocystosis. These parasites have an obligatory two-host life cycle, which correlates with prey-predator relationship. The distribution and prevalence of Sarcocystis in reptiles remains unclear, despite several previous reports. In this study, 54 faecal samples of various snake species and four faecal samples of several lizard species in Malaysia were examined for Sarcocystis through PCR amplification of the 18S rDNA sequence. Fourteen snake faecal samples were positive via PCR; however, only eight samples (14%) were found positive for Sarcocystis species, whereas four were positive for other genera and the identity of another three samples were unable to be determined. Further phylogenetic analysis of the 18S rDNA sequences revealed that the snakes were infected with either S. singaporensis, S. lacertae, or undefined Sarcocystis species which are closely related to either S. singaporensis or S. zuoi. Sarcocystis nesbitti infection was not identified in any of the infected snakes. This is the first report of identification of S. lacertae in the black-headed cat snake.

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Published
2019-12-29
How to Cite
1.
MOHD FADIL NF, TENGKU-IDRIS TIN, SHAHARI S, FONG MY, LAU YL. Molecular Evidence of Sarcocystis Species Infecting Reptiles in Peninsular Malaysia. Iran J Parasitol. 14(4):623-630.
Section
Original Article(s)