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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #310222

Research Project: ZOONOTIC PARASITES AFFECTING FOOD SAFETY AND PUBLIC HEALTH

Location: Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory

Title: First report of Enterocytozoon bieneusi in pigs in Brazil

Author
item Fiuza, Vagner Ricardo - US Department Of Agriculture (USDA)
item Oliviera, Francisco Carlo - Universidade Estadual Do Norte Fluminense
item Fayer, Ronald
item Santin-duran, Monica

Submitted to: Parasitology International
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/2/2015
Publication Date: 1/9/2015
Citation: Fiuza, V.D., Oliviera, F.S., Fayer, R., Santin, M. 2015. First report of Enterocytozoon bieneusi in pigs in Brazil. Parasitology International. 64:18-23.

Interpretive Summary: Microsporidia are microscopic fungi that infect all major animal groups from invertebrates to fish to birds and mammals, including domesticated animals and humans. Enterocytozoon bieneusi is the most commonly reported species in humans, mainly associated with diarrhea. It has also been reported worldwide in water as well as in wild, domestic and food-producing farm animals, raising concerns of water-borne, food-borne and zoonotic transmission. Although Brazil is the world’s fourth largest producer and exporter of pork, there is no information on E. bieneusi in pigs. This study was undertaken to investigate the prevalence of E. bieneusi in pigs in Brazil. Fecal samples were collected from 91 pigs 1 to 12 months of age on 10 farms. The presence of E. bieneusi was determined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and all PCR-positive specimens were sequenced to determine the genotype. Enterocytozoon bieneusi was found in pigs in all farms. Fifty four (59.3%) samples were E. bieneusi-positive. A wide genetic diversity was found with 21 genotypes identified, 4 previously reported (O, EbpA, CS-1, and H) and 17 novel genotypes named PigEb1-PigEb17. A high prevalence in pigs observed in this study. Two known zoonotic genotypes and 17 new genotypes of E. bieneusi were found, representing an important advance in the study of the wide genetic diversity of this organism, emphasizing the importance of further research, especially in geographical areas where little or no research has been conducted. This study constitutes the first molecular characterization of E. bieneusi in pigs in Brazil, and suggests a potential risk of zoonotic transmission in this area that needs to be further evaluated.

Technical Abstract: Although Brazil is the world’s fourth largest producer and exporter of pork, there is no information on E. bieneusi in pigs. This study was undertaken to determine the presence of E. bieneusi in pigs in the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Fecal samples were collected from 91 pigs (1- to 12-mo-old) in 10 properties and examined by molecular methods. The presence of E. bieneusi was determined by PCR and all PCR positive specimens were sequenced to determine the genotype by nucleotide sequence analysis of the internal transcribed spacer of the rRNA gene. Enterocytozoon bieneusi was found in pigs in all farms. Fifty four (59.3%) samples were E. bieneusi-positive. A wide genetic diversity was found with 21 genotypes identified, 4 previously reported (O, EbpA, CS-1, and H) and 17 novel genotypes named PigEb1-PigEb17. All 17 novel genotypes identified in this study clustered within the previously designated zoonotic Group 1. The most prevalent genotypes were novel genotypes PigEb2 (17/91, 18.7%) and PigEb4 (16/91, 17.6%). Mixed infections with 2 or 3 genotypes were detected in 13 pigs (24.1%). The high prevalence in pigs observed in this study, the description of two known zoonotic genotypes (EbpA and O), and the report of 17 new genotypes of E. bieneusi, represent an important advance in the study of the wide genetic diversity of this organism, emphasizing the importance of further research, especially in geographical areas where little or no research has been conducted. The zoonotic risk of these novel genotypes and their importance to other animal species is still unknown, but needs to be further evaluated.