2004 Volume 9 Issue 1 Pages 31-37
On November 13, 2000, an Asian tapir (Tapirus indicus) was transferred from the Melaka Zoo in Malaysia to the Sapporo Maruyama Zoo in Japan. During quarantine at the Sapporo Maruyama Zoo, nematode and cestode eggs were observed and disinfestation was conducted using Praziquantel. Segments were found in feces, but it was impossible to identify the cestode species morphologically because all were gravid segments filled with eggs. DNA extraction was conducted from the parasite eggs in the feces and from the segments. Sequences of cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COX1) in mitochondrial DNA and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) were ascertained. The results of a homology search showed that the sequences of ITS obtained from both the parasite eggs and the segments were similar to the sequence of a fungus. Two kinds of COX 1 sequence were obtained from the parasite eggs; one was similar to Ancylostoma, while the other, a sequence that was the same as that obtained from the segments, was related to Paranoplocephala. The results of the present study indicated that species identification might be possible based on sequences obtained from parasite eggs in feces. Furthermore, the method might be useful for diagnosis of parasite infections in wild species with only scarce information about parasitic helminth fauna.