Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #343767

Research Project: Zoonotic Parasites Affecting Food Animals, Food Safety, and Public Health

Location: Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory

Title: Molecular characterization of Enterocytozoon bieneusi in wild carnivores in Spain

Author
item Santin-duran, Monica
item Calero-bernal, Rafael - US Department Of Agriculture (USDA)
item Carmena, David - National Center For Microbiology, The Institute Of Health Carlos Iii
item Mateo, Marta - National Center For Microbiology, The Institute Of Health Carlos Iii
item Balseiro, Ana - Centre For Biotechnology
item Barral, Marta - National Center For Microbiology, The Institute Of Health Carlos Iii
item Limabarbero, Jose - Wildlife Health And Control
item Habela, Miguel - National Center For Microbiology, The Institute Of Health Carlos Iii

Submitted to: Society of Protozoologists International Workshop on Opportunistic Protists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/25/2017
Publication Date: 8/11/2017
Citation: Santin, M., Calero-Bernal, R., Carmena, D., Mateo, M., Balseiro, A., Barral, M., Limabarbero, J.F., Habela, M.A. 2017. Molecular characterization of Enterocytozoon bieneusi in wild carnivores in Spain. Society of Protozoologists International Workshop on Opportunistic Protists. On August 11, 2017.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Microsporidia comprises a diverse group of obligate intracellular parasites that infect all major animal groups from invertebrates to fish to birds and mammals, including domesticated animals and humans. Among Microsporidia, Enterocytozoon bieneusi is the most frequently detected species in humans and animals worldwide bringing into question the possible role of animal reservoirs in the epidemiology of this pathogen. Although E. bieneusi is an emerging zoonotic pathogen for which is has been confirmed low host-specificity with many domestic and wild mammals that could act as reservoir of infection for humans and other animals, there are only a few studies that have documented the occurrence of E. bieneusi in wild carnivores worldwide. This study aimed to provide information on presence and molecular characterization of E. bieneusi in wild carnivores from different regions of Spain to evaluate its zoonotic potential. A total of 190 fecal samples from wild carnivores were collected from País Vasco, Asturias, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura, and Andalucía in Spain. Eleven carnivore species from five Families were studied by PCR-sequencing of the ITS DNA region. Twenty-five fecal samples (13.2%) from 3 host species (European badger, beech marten, and red fox) were positive for E. bieneusi. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the ITS region revealed a high degree of genetic diversity in E. bieneusi in wild carnivores with a total of 8 distinct genotypes including 4 known genotypes (PtEbIX, S5, S9, and WildBoar3) and 4 novel genotypes (EbCar1-EbCar4). Phylogenetic analysis showed that the four novel genotypes (EbCar1-EbCar4) and three of the four known genotypes identified in this study (S5, S9, and WildBoar3) clustered within the previously designated zoonotic Group 1 while the fourth one (PtEbIX) belongs to a group considered dog-specific. Our results demonstrate that human-pathogenic genotypes are present in wild carnivores, corroborating their potential role as a source of human infection and environmental contamination.