Eimeria neomyi Golemansky

Type host: Neomys anomalus Cabrera, 1907, Southern water shrew.

Other hosts: Neomys fodiens (Pennant, 1771), Northern water shrew..

Type locality: EUROPE: Bulgaria, area of the Rila Mountains.

Geographic distribution: EUROPE: Bulgaria.

Description of oocyst: Oocyst shape: spheroid to subspheroid; number of walls: 2; wall thickness: unknown, but probably ?1.0; wall characteristics: outer, colorless, smooth, ~2/3 of total; inner, membranous, colorless; L x W: 18-20 x 18-20 (spheroid oocysts) and 18.3 x 16.5 (16-20.5 x 15.2-17.8, subspheroid oocysts) ; L/W ratio: 1.0 (spheroid), 1.1 (subspheroid); M: absent; OR: absent; PG: 1. Distinctive features of oocyst: 1 PG always present.

Description of sporocysts and sporozoites: Sporocyst shape: ovoid; L x W: 12 x 7.5; L/W ratio: 1.6; SB: present as a "hyaline plug" at narrow end; SSB: absent (? see below); PSB: absent; SR: present; SR characteristics: diffuse, small granules between the SP; SP: with a distinct RB at one end (line drawing), although this was not stated in the original description. Distinctive features of sporocyst: the hyaline-plug like SB (which may be a SSB; this needs to be determined).

Prevalence: 5/8 (63%) type host; 1/3 (33%) N. fodiens; 5/8 N. anomalus from Parangalista Reserve in Bulgaria (see Remarks and Golemansky, 1979).

Sporulation: Exogenous. Oocysts sporulated in 56 hours in 3% potassium dichromate solution at ~24 C.

Prepatent and patent periods: Unknown.

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

Materials deposited: None.

Remarks: Cerna (1961) found oocysts in N. fodiens that she called E. komareki, which she and Daniel (1956) had described earlier from S. araneus. Although some groups of mammalian coccidia do switch host genera (Wilber et al., 1998), most apparently do not. With so little known about insectivore coccidia, it is not possible to generalize about the host-parasite relationship in this group. Thus, we conclude that this species named by Golemansky (1978) actually describes oocysts similar to those first seen by Cerna (1961) in this host genus. This is the only Eimeria species known from Neomys. It is of interest to note that in the original description, Golemansky (1978) also described E. ropotamae from C. l. leucodon and the drawings for both E. ropotamae and E. neomyi are essentially identical for both sporulated and unsporulated oocysts, with the exception that in the former the outermost wall is "lightly sculptured." For both E. neomyi and E. ropotamae, Golemansky (1978) stated that a typical SB either was not observed or was absent and that it was replaced by a structure he called a hyaline plug ("bouchon hyalin"). The pointed nature of the end of the sporocyst in both species (line drawings) indicates the presence of a SB and the hyaline plug may actually be a SSB.
In 1979, Golemansky reported on the coccidia of small mammals from 4 "reserves" in Bulgaria (Arkvtino, Parangalista, Ropotamo, Sreburna) and listed 1 Cyclospora, 3 Isospora and 8 Eimeria spp. from insectivores collected in these reserves. Six of the species he listed (1979) he also described in 1978 and, in most instances, the number of host animals collected and infected was identical or nearly identical for these 6 species in both papers; only the locality is different. For example,1978: 5/8 N. anomalus and 1/3 N. fodiens from the Rila Mountains (Montagne de Rila) had E. neomyi; 1979: 5/8 N. anomalus from the Parangalista Reserve had E. neomyi. It seems an odd coincidence that the number of hosts caught, and their prevalence of infection with the same parasites (E. flexilis, E. neomyi, E. ropotomae, I. araneus, I. neomyi, I talpae) would be identical in different years from different localities. Measurements given for sporulated oocyts also were identical in both papers.

References: Cerna (1961); Golemansky (1978, 1979); Wilber et al. (1998).