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Ultrastructure and molecular phylogeny of Pleistophora hyphessobryconis (Microsporidia) infecting hybrid jundiara (Leiarius marmoratus × Pseudoplatystoma reticulatum) in a Brazilian aquaculture facility


A microsporidian infecting the skeletal muscle of hybrid jundiara (Leiarius marmoratus × Pseudoplatystoma reticulatum) in a commercial aquaculture facility in Brazil is described. Affected fish exhibited massive infections in the skeletal muscle that were characterized by large opaque foci throughout the affected fillets. Histologically, skeletal muscle was replaced by inflammatory cells and masses of microsporidial developmental stages. Generally pyriform spores had a wrinkled bi-layer spore wall and measured 4·0 × 6·0 µm. Multinucleate meronts surrounded by a simple plasma membrane were observed. The polar filament had an external membrane and a central electron dense mass. The development of sporoblasts within a sporophorous vesicle appeared synchronized. Ultrastructural observations and molecular analysis of 16S rDNA sequences revealed that the microsporidian was Pleistophora hyphessobryconis. This study is the first report of a P. hyphessobryconis infection in a non-ornamental fish.

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* Corresponding author. Department of Pathobiology and Diagnostic Investigation, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA. E-mail:
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