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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter March 25, 2015

First report of Hepatozoon (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina) from king ratsnakes (Elaphe carinata) in Shanghai, with description of a new species

Hongyu Han, Youling Wu, Hui Dong, Shunhai Zhu, Liujia Li, Qiping Zhao, Di Wu, Enle Pei, Yange Wang and Bing Huang
From the journal Acta Parasitologica


Hepatozoon species are the most common hemoparasites of snakes. In this study, Hepatozoon parasites were examined for the first time in king rat snakes (Elaphe carinata) from Shanghai, China. All 10 snakes were found to be infected with Hepatozoon gamonts. The gamonts were folded back in a hook-wise fashion for about 3 μm at one end. Parasitemia levels ranged from 4-43 infected erythrocytes per 1,000 examined. The gamonts changed the morphology of the parasitized erythrocytes. Although the gamonts showed some distinct variations in both the parasite and its nucleus, phylogenetic analysis indicated that all the E. carinata in this study formed a monophyletic group, and were distinct from all other published Hepatozoon species. A new species, Hepatozoon chinensis, was proposed based on the molecular and morphologic evidence.


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Received: 2014-9-7
Revised: 2014-12-8
Accepted: 2014-12-31
Published Online: 2015-3-25
Published in Print: 2015-6-1

© 2015 W. Stefański Institute of Parasitology, PAS