Submitted to: Parasitology Research
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/11/2007
Publication Date: 12/1/2007
Citation: Fayer, R., Santin, M., Trout, J.M. 2007. Enterocytozoon bieneusi in mature dairy cattle on farms in the eastern United States. Parasitology Research. 102(1):15-20. Epub 2007 Sep 27. Interpretive Summary: Fecal specimens were collected from 541 dairy cattle on farms in Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida to determine if mature milking cows might be a source of an emerging pathogen in humans. Enterocytozoon bieneusi, the most frequently found microsporidian in human infections, was found in 24 cows from 12 farms in 7 states. We recently reported the presence of this organism in preweaned and postweaned dairy calves and in heifers from many of the same farms. Molecular methods identified cattle specific genotypes, none of which have been reported to infect humans.
Technical Abstract: Fecal specimens were obtained from mature milking cows on farms in Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida. PCR positive specimens for Enterocytozoon bieneusi were found in 24 of 541 cows examined (4.4%) and on 12 of 14 farms. The prevalence of E. bieneusi varied considerably from farm to farm, with the lowest prevalence (2.3%) on FL-2 and the highest prevalence (12.5%) on VT-2. None of the cows exhibited signs of diarrhea. All PCR positive specimens that amplified the ITS region as well as a portion of the flanking large and small subunit ribosomal RNA genes were sequenced to determine the genotype of E. bieneusi present and four genotypes were identified. Three were identified as cattle specific genotypes previously reported as BEB1, BEB2, and BEB4, and a new genotype, BEB 6, was found. None have been reported to infect humans.