Molecular Detection and Characterization of Blastocystis sp. and Enterocytozoon bieneusi in Cattle in Northern Spain



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Abarca, Nadia and Santín, Mónica and Ortega, Sheila and Maloney, Jenny G. and George, Nadja S. and Molokin, Aleksey and Cardona, Guillermo A. and Dashti, Alejandro and Köster, Pamela C. and Bailo, Begoña and Hernández de Mingo, Marta and Muadica, Aly S. and Calero Bernal, Rafael and Carmena, David and González Barrio, David (2021) Molecular Detection and Characterization of Blastocystis sp. and Enterocytozoon bieneusi in Cattle in Northern Spain. Veterinary Sciences, 8 (9). p. 191. ISSN 2306-7381

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Some enteric parasites causing zoonotic diseases in livestock have been poorly studied or even neglected. This is the case in stramenopile Blastocystis sp. and the microsporidia Enterocytozoon bieneusi in Spain. This transversal molecular epidemiological survey aims to estimate the prevalence and molecular diversity of Blastocystis sp. and E. bieneusi in cattle faecal samples (n = 336) in the province of Álava, Northern Spain. Initial detection of Blastocystis and E. bieneusi was carried out by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Sanger sequencing of the small subunit (ssu) rRNA gene and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region, respectively. Intra-host Blastocystis subtype diversity was further investigated by next generation amplicon sequencing (NGS) of the ssu rRNA gene in those samples that tested positive by conventional PCR. Amplicons compatible with Blastocystis sp. and E. bieneusi were observed in 32.1% (108/336, 95% CI: 27.2–37.4%) and 0.6% (2/336, 95% CI: 0.0–1.4%) of the cattle faecal samples examined, respectively. Sanger sequencing produced ambiguous/unreadable sequence data for most of the Blastocystis isolates sequenced. NGS allowed the identification of 10 Blastocystis subtypes including ST1, ST3, ST5, ST10, ST14, ST21, ST23, ST24, ST25, and ST26. All Blastocystis-positive isolates involved mixed infections of 2–8 STs in a total of 31 different combinations. The two E. bieneusi sequences were confirmed as potentially zoonotic genotype BEB4. Our data demonstrate that Blastocystis mixed subtype infections are extremely frequent in cattle in the study area. NGS was particularly suited to discern underrepresented subtypes or mixed subtype infections that were undetectable or unreadable by Sanger sequencing. The presence of zoonotic Blastocystis ST1, ST3, and ST5, and E. bieneusi BEB4 suggest cross-species transmission and a potential risk of human infection/colonization.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Blastocystis; Enterocytozoon bieneusi; cattle; NGS; ribosomal RNA; subtypes; Spain; zoonoses; transmission
Subjects:Medical sciences > Veterinary > Cattle
ID Code:77431
Deposited On:19 Apr 2023 14:14
Last Modified:19 Apr 2023 14:14

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