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Title: Genetic identification and insights into the ecology of Contracaecum rudolphii A and C. rudolphii B (Nematoda: Anisakidae) from cormorants and fish of aquatic ecosystems of Central Italy
Authors: Mattiucci, Simonetta
Sbaraglia, Gian Luca
Palomba, Marialetizia 
Filippi, Sara
Paoletti, Michela 
Cipriani, Paolo
Nascetti, Giuseppe 
Issue Date: 2020
Contracaecum rudolphii (s. l.) is a complex of sibling species of anisakid nematodes having the fish-eating birds belonging to the Family Phalacrocoracidae as final hosts. The great cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis is parasitized by C. rudolphii A and C. rudolphii B. Adults and L4 specimens of C. rudolphii (s. l.) (N = 3282) were collected in cormorants from brackish and freshwater ecosystems of Central Italy. Third-stage larvae of Contracaecum (N = 882) were obtained from the fish species Dicentrarchus labrax, Anguilla anguilla, Aphanius fasciatus, Atherina boyeri, Leuciscus cephalus, Barbus barbus, and Carassius carassius captured in the same geographical areas of cormorants’ standings. Contracaecum rudolphii A and C. rudolphii B were identified by a multilocus genetic approach: allozymes, sequences analysis of the mtDNA cox2, and ITS region of rDNA gene loci. Differential distribution of the two parasite species was observed in different aquatic environments. Contracaecum rudolphii B outnumbered C. rudolphii A in wintering cormorants from freshwater ecosystems; the opposite trend was found in cormorants from brackish water. Analogously, C. rudolphii A larvae were more prevalent in brackish water fish, while C. rudolphii B larvae were found infecting only freshwater fish. The findings seem to confirm that C. rudolphii A and C. rudolphii B would have a life-cycle adapted to brackish and freshwater environments, respectively. A differential feeding behavior of wintering cormorants, the ecology of the infected fish species, and abiotic factors related to early stages of the parasites are supposed to maintain the distinctiveness of the two parasite species’ life cycles in the two different aquatic ecosystems.
ISSN: 0932-0113
DOI: 10.1007/s00436-020-06658-8
Appears in Collections:A1. Articolo in rivista

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