Partial plastid 23S and nuclear 18S rDNA genes were amplified and sequenced from 2 morphologically similar Eimeria species, E. antrozoi from a bat (Antrozous pallidus) and E. arizonensis from deer mice (Peromyscus spp.), as well as some other Eimeria species from bats and rodents. The phylogenetic trees clearly separated E. antrozoi from E. arizonensis. The phylogenies based on plastid 23S rDNA data and combined data of both plastid and nuclear genes grouped 2 bat Eimeria and 3 morphologically similar Eimeria species from rodents into 2 separate clades with high bootstrap support (100%, 3 rodent Eimeria species; 72–97%, 2 bat Eimeria species), which supports E. antrozoi as a valid species. The rodent Eimeria species did not form a monophyletic group. The 2 bat Eimeria species formed a clade with the 3 morphologically similar rodent Eimeria species (E. arizonensis, E. albigulae, E. onychomysis, all from cricetid rodents) with 100% bootstrap support, whereas 2 other rodent Eimeria species (E. nieschulzi, E. falciformis, from murid rodents) formed a separate clade with 100% bootstrap support. This suggests that the 2 Eimeria species from bats might be derived from rodent Eimeria species and may have arisen as a result of lateral host transfer between rodent and bat hosts.

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