Korean J Parasitol.  2018 Aug;56(4):379-383. 10.3347/kjp.2018.56.4.379.

Molecular and Morphologic Identification of Spirometra ranarum Found in the Stool of African Lion, Panthera leo in the Serengeti Plain of Tanzania

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Parasitology, Medical Research Institute and Parasite Resource Bank, Chungbuk National University School of Medicine, Cheongju 28644, Korea. jeonhk@chungbuk.ac.kr
  • 2Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, Arusha, Tanzania.

Abstract

The present study was performed with morphological and molecular analysis (cox1 and nad1 mitochondrial genes) to identify the proglottids of spirometrid tapeworm found in the stool of an African lion, Panthera leo, in the Serengeti plain of Tanzania. A strand of tapeworm strobila, about 75 cm in length, was obtained in the stool of a male African lion in the Serengeti National Park (34° 50"² E, 02° 30"² S), Tanzania, in February 2012. The morphological features of the adult worm examined exhibited 3 uterine coils with a bow tie appearance and adopted a diagonal direction in the second turn. The posterior uterine coils are larger than terminal uterine ball and the feature of uteri are swirling rather than spirally coiling. The sequence difference between the Spirometra species (Tanzania origin) and S. erinaceieuropaei (GenBank no. KJ599680) was 9.4% while those of S. decipiens (GenBank no. KJ599679) differed by 2.1% in the cox1 and nad1 genes. Phylogenetic tree topologies generated using the 2 analytic methods were identical and presented high level of confidence values for the 3 major branches of the 3 Spirometra species in the cox1 gene. The morphological and molecular findings obtained in this study were nearly coincided with those of S. ranarum. Therefore, we can know for the first time that the African lion, Panthera leo, is to the definitive host of this tapeworm.

Keyword

Spirometra ranarum; cox1; nad1; lion; Tanzania

MeSH Terms

Adult
Cestoda
Humans
Lions*
Male
Panthera*
Parks, Recreational
Spirometra*
Tanzania*
Trees
Uterus
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