Flatfish tissue samples exhibiting X-cell pseudotumors were tested with a number of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) general primers in polymerase chain reactions (PCRs). Microsporidian primers resulted in the amplification of an rDNA fragment and molecular phylogenetic analysis indicated that although the organism did not relate closely with any current microsporidian genera, it was most similar to Nucleospora salmonis and branched within the Enterocytozoonidae. Re-examination of the original tissues used for DNA extractions revealed the presence of putative microsporidian spores in PCR-positive samples. These observations reiterate the highly sensitive diagnostic feature of PCR, allowing detection of organisms overlooked by conventional methods and demonstrate the occurrence of rare, coinfecting organisms.

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