Aegyptianella Moshkovskii

Synonyms: Sogdianella moshkovskii, Babesia ardeae, Nuttallia shortti, Babesia moshkovskii.

Hosts: Chicken, turkey (?), pheasant (?), eagle (Gypaetus barbatus), Indian house crow (Corvus splendens), heron (Ardea cinerea), Egyptian kestrel (Falco tinnunculus).

Location: Erythrocytes.

Geographic Distribution: Indochina, USSR (Tadzhikistan), Egypt, Pakistan, India, United States (?), South Africa (?), Iran (?).

This species was first described by Schurenkova (1938) from Gypaetus barbatus in Tadzhikistan. Laird and Lari (1957) found what they considered the same species in an Indian house crow in Pakistan, reviewed the literature on avian babesioid hematozoa, and concluded that the following should be assigned to this species: The form described from the chicken in Indochina by Henry (1939), the form described under the name Babesia ardeae by Toumanoff (1940) from Ardea cinerea in Indochina, and the form described under the name Nuttallia shortti by Mohamed (1952) from Falco tinnunculus in Egypt. They were not sure of its relationship to the forms reported from chickens in Philadelphia, New York and South Africa by Coles (1937), from chickens in the Punjab by Abdussalam (1945), from turkey poults in California by McNeil and Hinshaw (1944), and from the pheasant in Iran by Rousselot (1947), all of which they considered insufficiently described. I am including these latter forms here as a matter of convenience, without prejudice as to their final disposition.

Laird and Lari (1957) assigned this species to the genus Babesia, considering that the differences between the various members of the Babesiidae, including Aegyptianella, might best be dealt with at the subgeneric leveh They may well be correct. However, until more is known about the avian babesiids, I prefer to leave them in the genus Aegyptianella.

Morphology: The form from the chicken described from Henry (1939) is 0.2 to 2.5 u in diameter, occurring as Anaplasma-like granules, as small rings and as elongate bodies with a terminal dot of chromatin and a thin tail of cytoplasm. Both binary fission and schizogony were seen. The nuclei of the schizonts are either strung on a thin cytoplasmic ring or are at the angles of triangular or lozenge-shaped figures. The schizonts usually produce 4 merozoites, altho some have as many as 6.

The form described by Schurenkova from the eagle produces 4 merozoites and also has large, homogeneous bodies which she took to be gametocytes.

The form described by Laird and Lari from the crow has anaplasmoid bodies 0.2 to 0.6 u in diameter, elongate forms 0.7 to 0.9 by 0.1 u composed of a terminal dot of chromatin and a slender cytoplasmic tail, ring forms measuring up to 2.1 by 1.4 u, and large, solid, oval or irregular forms 0.9 to 5.3 u in diameter. All stages could divide by binary fission. Cruciform and fan-shaped schizonts were also present. Four merozoites are formed.

The form described by McNeil and Hinshaw (1944) from turkey poults was roundish, oval or piriform, 0.5 to 2 u in diameter, and occurred singly or in pairs. They thought it resembled Sauroplasma thomasi, a blood parasite described from a lizard in South Africa by DuToit (1937).

Life Cycle: Unknown.

Pathogenesis: Unknown.