Background: A century of debates on the taxonomy of members of the Metastrongyloidea Molin, 1861 led to many reclassifications. Considering the inconstant genus assignation and lack of genetic data, the main aim of this study was to support the validity of the genus Perostrongylus Schlegel, 1934, previously considered a synonym of Aelurostrongylus Cameron, 1927, based on new molecular phylogenetic data and to understand its evolutionary relationships with other metastrongyloid nematodes. Results: Specimens of lungworm collected from European badgers in Germany, Romania and Bosnia and Herzegovina were morphologically and molecularly (rDNA, cox1) characterized. From a phylogenetic standpoint, Perostrongylus is grouped with high support together with the genera Filaroides van Beneden, 1858 and Parafilaroides Dougherty, 1946 and includes probably two species: Perostrongylus falciformis (Schlegel, 1933), a parasite of Meles meles in Europe and P. pridhami (Anderson, 1962), a parasite of Neovison vison in North America. Perostrongylus and Aelurostrongylus are assigned to different clades. Aelurostrongylus becomes a monotypic genus, with the only species Aelurostrongylus abstrusus (Railliet, 1898). In addition, we provide morphological and morphometric data for the first-stage (L1), second-stage (L2), and third-stage (L3) larvae of P. falciformis and describe their development in experimentally infected Cornu aspersum snails. The pathological and histopathological lesions in lungs of infected European badgers are also described. This is the first record of P. falciformis in Romania. Conclusions: Molecular phylogenetic and morphological data support the validity of the genus Perostrongylus, most probably with two species, P. falciformis in European badgers and P. pridhami in minks in North America. The two genera clearly belong to two different clades: Perostrongylus is grouped together with the genera Filaroides and Parafilaroides (both in the family Filaroididae Schulz, 1951), whereas Aelurostrongylus belongs to a clade with no sister groups.
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|Titolo:||Validity of genus Perostrongylus Schlegel, 1934 with new data on Perostrongylus falciformis (Schlegel, 1933) in European badgers, Meles meles (Linnaeus, 1758): Distribution, life-cycle and pathology|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|