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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Mosquito and Fly Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #326943

Research Project: Biting Arthropod Surveillance and Control

Location: Mosquito and Fly Research

Title: Microsporidia – Emergent Pathogens in the Global Food Chain

item STENTIFORD, GRANT - Centre For Environment, Fisheries And Aquaculture Science (CEFAS)
item Becnel, James
item WEISS, LOUIS - Albert Einstein College Of Medicine
item KEELING, PATRICK - Canadian Institute For Advanced Research Vancouver, Bc, Ca
item DIDIER, ELIZABETH - Tulane University
item WILLIAMS, BRYONY - University Of Exeter
item BJORNSON, SUSAN - St Mary'S University
item KENT, MICHAEL - Oregon State University
item FREEMAN, MARK - University Of Malaya
item BROWN, MARK - University Of London
item TROEMEL, EMILY - University Of California
item ROESEL, KRISTINA - Freie University
item SOKOLOVA, YULIA - Louisiana State University
item SNOWDEN, KAREN - Texas A&M University
item SOLTER, LEELLEN - University Of Illinois

Submitted to: Trends in Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/19/2016
Publication Date: 1/19/2016
Citation: Stentiford, G.D., Becnel, J.J., Weiss, L., Keeling, P., Didier, E., Williams, B., Bjornson, S., Kent, M., Freeman, M.A., Brown, M.J., Troemel, E., Roesel, K., Sokolova, Y., Snowden, K.F., Solter, L. 2016. Microsporidia – Emergent Pathogens in the Global Food Chain. Trends in Parasitology. pgs. 1-13.

Interpretive Summary: The global population requires a food resource chain that is productive and safe. Because food supplies increasingly rely on the mass production of animals ranging from aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates to mammals, as well as on plant pollinators, it is important to identify the factors that limit current and future supply and to define mitigating measures that will ensure that animals managed for food production survive until harvest and provide a food source that is safe for consumption. As food production intensifies, both invertebrate and vertebrate pathogens may become increasingly important and deleterious with transmission to human consumers more likely to occur. Microsporidia have been identified as one of the most significant pathogen groups affecting edible crabs, shrimp, fish, and insects, including important pollinators. Some Microsporidia are also important pathogens of humans and other mammals. Given the apparent opportunistic nature of the Microsporidia– they are generally associated with immune-suppressed patients– many of these mammalian infections may have origins in other animal groups, the so-called ‘zoonoses’. This study provides strong evidence for an increasing prevalence of microsporidiosis in animals and humans, and for the possibility of sharing of pathogens across invertebrate and vertebrate hosts.

Technical Abstract: Intensi'cation of food production has the potential to drive increased disease prevalence in food plants and animals. Microsporidia are diversely distributed, opportunistic, and density-dependent parasites infecting hosts from almost all known animal taxa. They are frequent in highly managed aquatic and terrestrial hosts, many of which are vulnerable to epizootics, and all of which are crucial for the stability of the animal–human food chain. Mass rearing and changes in global climate may exacerbate disease and more ef'cient transmission of parasites in stressed or immune-de'cient hosts. Further, human microspori- diosis appears to be adventitious and primarily associated with an increasing community of immune-de'cient individuals. Taken together, strong evidence exists for an increasing prevalence of microsporidiosis in animals and humans, and for sharing of pathogens across hosts and biomes.