|Title||Studies of Myxidium giardi Cépède, 1906 infections in Icelandic eels identifies a genetically diverse clade of myxosporeans that represents the Paramyxidium n. G (Myxosporea: Myxidiidae)|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2018|
|Authors||Freeman, MA, Kristmundsson, Á|
|Journal||Parasites & Vectors|
Background: The myxosporean Myxidium giardi Cépède, 1906 was described infecting the kidney of the European eel, Anguilla anguilla (L.), having spindle-shaped myxospores and terminal sub-spherical polar capsules. Since then, numerous anguillid eels globally have been documented to have similar Myxidium infections. Many of these have been identified using the morphological features of myxospores or by the location of infection in the host, and some have been subsequently synonymised with M. giardi. Therefore, it is not clear whether M. giardi is a widely distributed parasite, infecting numerous species of eels, in multiple organs, or whether some infections represent other, morphologically similar but different species of myxosporeans. The aim of the present study was to assess the status of M. giardi infections in Icelandic eels, and related fish hosts in Malaysia and to use spore morphology and molecular techniques to evaluate the diversity of myxosporeans present.
Results: The morphologies of the myxospores from Icelandic eels were very similar but the overall dimensions were significantly different from the various tissue locations. Myxospores from the kidney of the Malaysian tarpon, Megalops cyprinoides (Broussonet), were noticeably smaller. However, the SSU rDNA sequences from the different tissues locations in eels, were all very distinct, with percentage similarities ranging from 92.93% to as low as 89.8%, with the sequence from Malaysia being even more dissimilar. Molecular phylogenies consistently placed these sequences together in a clade that we refer to as the Paramyxidium clade that is strongly associated with the
Myxidium clade (sensu stricto). We erect the genus Paramyxidium n. g. (Myxidiidae) to accommodate these histozoic taxa, and transfer Myxidium giardi as Paramyxidium giardi Cépède, 1906 n. comb. as the type-species.
Conclusions: There is not a single species of Myxidium (M. giardi) causing systemic infections in eels in Iceland. There are three species, confirmed with a robust phylogeny, one of which represents Paramyxidium giardi n. comb. Additional species probably exist that infect different tissues in the eel and the site of infection in the host fish is an important diagnostic feature for this group (Paramyxidium n. g. clade). Myxospore morphology is generally conserved
in the Paramyxidium clade, although actual spore dimensions can vary between some species. Paramyxidium spp. Are currently only known to infect fishes from the Elopomorpha.