Molecular characterization of haemoparasites genus Lankestrella (Apicomplexa: Coccidia) in two species of Lizards from Iran


  • Hossein Javanbakht Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran
  • Reyhaneh Hajiyan Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran



Apicomplexan, blood parasite, haemogregarine, reptiles


Reptiles are known hosts of a wide variety of parasites, including haemoparasites. Species of Lankestrella (Apicomplexa; Haemococcidia) have been described from the blood of lizards distributed in American and western European areas. In the present study, we characterized morphologically and molecularly the haemococcidian parasites (sporozoites) that infect the blood cells of Eremias persica and Ophisops elegans, two species of lacertid lizards from central Iran. By the microscopic examination of the smears, we identified parasites as the genus Lankestrella. In total, two positive samples of each species have investigated the basis of the partial 18S rRNA gene analyses.  The result of similarity analysis with our sequences using the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) indicated a11 four parasites belonging to one haplotype of Lankestrella sp. The phylogenetic analysis revealed that the new Lankestrella sp is related to Lankestrella sp identified from two lizards belonging to Spain and Socotra Archipelago. This is the first report of Lankestrella parasites in the new lizard's host. The present study provided additional information about the new host of Lankestrella species and added new knowledge to clarify the future phylogenetic relationship between these parasites. Our results emphasize the importance of screening haemococcidian parasites in Iran.


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How to Cite

Javanbakht, H., & Hajiyan, R. (2022). Molecular characterization of haemoparasites genus Lankestrella (Apicomplexa: Coccidia) in two species of Lizards from Iran. Journal of Wildlife and Biodiversity, 8(1), 192–202.