Zoonotic Thelazia californiensis in dogs from New Mexico, USA, and a review of North American cases in animals and humans
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Thelazia californiensis is a spirurid nematode found in the conjunctival sac of domestic and wild animals, including humans, across the western United States of America. Herein, we report two cases of thelaziosis by T. californiensis in dogs from New Mexico, United States, based on integrated morphological and molecular approaches. Nematode specimens collected from the conjunctiva of both dogs were identified as T. californiensis based on morphology. Our study substantially expands the knowledge on morphometry of this nematode species. Therefore, these data will be useful for accurate diagnosis of thelaziosis in domestic animals, wildlife and humans in North America, using classical, microscopy-based methods. We characterized for the first time the mitochondrial cytochrome c-oxidase subunit 1 (COI) and 12S genes of T. californiensis. While these markers support the validity of T. californiensis, they were not very informative for elucidating the phylogenetic relationships among Thelazia species. Nevertheless, the characterization of these diagnostic markers for T. californiensis will be useful for studies on the epidemiology, molecular xenomonitoring of fanniid vectors, and population genetics of this multi-host, zoonotic parasite.
author list (cited authors)
Sobotyk, C., Foster, T., Callahan, R. T., McLean, N. J., & Verocai, G. G.