Trichinella T5, collected from sylvatic carnivores in North America, was identified previously as a different phenotype of Trichinella, with an uncertain taxonomic level due to the availability of only 2 isolates. Cross-breeding experiments carried out with single female and male larvae of 2 strains of Trichinella T5, with single female and male larvae of 2 strains of Trichinella spiralis, Trichinella nativa, Trichinella britovi, Trichinella pseudospiralis, Trichinella nelsoni, and Trichinella T6, showed a reproductive isolation of Trichinella T5. Viable offspring were obtained only when a female of Trichinella T5 was crossed with a male of T. britovi, but not vice versa. Furthermore, the analysis of biological, biochemical, and molecular data of 32 isolates collected from sylvatic animals in the Nearctic region and identified as Trichinella T5 permitted its reassessment at the species level. Trichinella murrelli n. sp. is characterized by the following: distribution in temperate areas of the Nearctic region; newborn larvae production in vitro of 29–36/72 hr; nurse cell development time between 24 and 70 days postinfection; reproductive capacity index in Swiss mice 1.2–9.5, in wild mice 29.5–159.8, in rats 0.7–2.4, and in pigs 0.03–0.0004; no resistance to freezing; ribosomal DNA fragments of 7.2 kb and/or 11.4 kb, plus 2.2 kb and 1.8 kb present after Dra I digested DNA when probed with total T. spiralis RNA; a specific amplicon of 179 bp after polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification with the primer set SB147G; a specific fragment of 1,600 bp after PCR amplification with the primer set Ts43CA and Hhb I digestion; long incubation period; and moderate to severe pathogenicity for humans. The new species is most similar to T. britovi, though it differs from T. britovi in the pattern of 2 allozymes, in the patterns of major ribosomal DNA and PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism fragments, and in geographical distribution.
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