Pentastomid infections in Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) in the Kruger National Park, South Africa, with a description of the males of Alofia simpsoni

01 Oct 2012

Two Nile crocodiles were obtained from two different localities in the Kruger National Park, one a healthy specimen , the other in a severely debilitated condition. Both were males over 3m long and both harboured the three pentastome genera Sebekia, Alofia and Leiperia. The genus Sebekia was represented by three species, Sebekia wedli Giglioli, 1922, Sebekia cesarisi Giglioli, 1922 and Sebekia okavangoensis Riley & Huchzermeyer, 1995. Of the genus Alofia two species, Alofia simpsoni Riley, 1994 and Alofia nilotici Riley & Huchzermeyer, 1995 were found. The male of A. simpsoni, formerly unknown, is described and the description of the females emended. Leiperia cincinnalis Sambon, 1922 was the only Leiperia present. Whereas Sebekia and Alofia were recovered from the bronchioles and lung parenchyma, female Leiperia occurred in the trachea and bronchi , and infective larvae as well as immature males and females, were collected from the lungs, the heart and the aorta. Adult Subtriquetra (Family Subtriquetridae) were not present in the nasopharynx of either crocodile. The intensity of infection was low in the healthy crocodile and had no negative effect on the host. In contrast, the debilitated crocodile was heavily infected and its poor condition is ascribed to its high pentastome burden. Histopathology revealed lesions in the tracheal wall and the lungs accompanied by chronic granulomata with secondary fungal infection as well as severe chronic multifocal granulomatous pneumonia.