Diversity of haemoprotozoan parasites infecting the wildlife of South Africa
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Tissue samples from wildlife from South Africa were opportunistically collected and screened for haemoprotozoan parasites using nonspecific PCR primers. Samples of 127 individuals were tested, comprising over 50 different species. Haemogregarines were the most commonly identified parasites, but sarcocystids and piroplasmids were also detected. Phylogenetic analyses estimated from the 18S rDNA marker highlighted the occurrence of several novel parasite forms and the detection of parasites in novel hosts. Phylogenetic relationships, which have been recently reviewed, appear to be much more complex than previously considered. Our study highlights the high diversity of parasites circulating in wildlife in this biodiverse region, and the need for further studies to resolve taxonomic issues.
- RESEARCH: Taylor, P