Isospora sofiae Levine and Ivens, 1979

Synonyms: Isospora talpae Golemansky, 1978, nomen preocc; non I. talpae Agostinucci, 1955.

Type host: Talpa europaea Linnaeus, 1758, European mole.

Other hosts: None reported to date.

Type locality: EUROPE: Bulgaria, in the vicinity of Sofia and the Réserve of Sreburna, in NE Bulgaria.

Geographic distribution: EUROPE: Bulgaria, England.

Description of oocyst: Oocyst shape: spheropid to subspheroid; number of walls: only 1 layer; wall thickness: <1.0; wall characteristics: smooth; L x W: 12.2 x 11.0 (9-16 x 8-15); L/W ratio: 1.1 (1.0-1.4); M: absent; OR: absent; PG: absent. Distinctive features of oocyst: small size, thin oocyst wall.

Description of sporocysts and sporozoites: Sporocyst shape: ovoid; L x W: 9.1 x 5.2 (6-13 x 3-8); L/W ratio: 1.75 (1.3-2.1); SB: present; SSB: present, about the same width as SB, and best seen with NIC optics; PSB: absent; SR: present; SR characteristics: a compact mass of 3-6 globules; SP: with 1 RB. Distinctive features of sporocyst: distinct ovoid shape with both SB abd SSB.

Prevalence: 3/10 (30%) in Bulgaria; 25/33 (76%) in England.

Sporulation: Exogenous. Oocysts sporulated in ~48 hours at 22-25 C.

Prepatent and patent periods: Unknown.

Site of infection: Unknown. Oocysts recovered from feces and intestinal contents.

Materials deposited: Photosyntypes in the USNPC No. 85994.

Remarks: Golemansky (1979) first described this species from T. europaea he collected in Bulgaria, but named it I. talpae, apparently unaware of the paper by Agostinucci (1955) who first used the name I. talpae to describe another species in T. europaea from Italy. Levine and Ivens (1979) named the form seen by Golemansky (1979) I. sofiae; the oocysts seen by Duszynski and Wattam (1988) from moles in England also were thought to be I. sofiae, even though Golemansky's (1979) description was considered to be incomplete by current standards. Golemansky (1979) saw both spheroid (12.5) and subspheroid (12.5-14 x 10-13) oocysts, as did Duszynski and Wattam (1988), but subspheroid ones were rare in the former and more common than spheroid ones in the latter report. Golemansky (1979) also said that sporocysts were without a SB, but with some hyaline material at their pointed end. Duszynski and Wattam (1988), however, thought that his drawing was similar to the SB/SSB complex they saw best only with NIC optics, which Golemanksy did not have. Golemansky (1979) reported this species from 3/10 T. europaea from the Sreburna Reserve in Bulgaria.

References: Agostinucci (1955); Duszynski and Wattam (1988); Golemansky (1979); Levine and Ivens (1979).