First report of Enterocytozoon bieneusi infection on a pig farm in the Czech Republic.

Research paper by Bohumil B Sak, Martin M Kvác, Dagmar D Hanzlíková, Vitaliano V Cama

Indexed on: 18 Mar '08Published on: 18 Mar '08Published in: Veterinary Parasitology


Enterocytozoon bieneusi infects humans and animals and can cause life-threatening diarrhea in immunocompromised people. The routes of transmission and its zoonotic potential are not fully understood. Pigs have been frequently reported to have E. bieneusi; therefore, we surveyed farm-raised pigs in the Czech Republic to determine its presence and genetic diversity. Spores were detected by microscopy in the faeces of 65 out of 79 examined animals (82%). A species-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) identified E. bieneusi in 94% of samples. Genotyping based on the ITS regions of the SSU rRNA gene identified that most pigs were infected with the species-specific genotype F, while two animals had the zoonotic genotype D and two had genotype Peru 9. This is the first report of E. bieneusi in swine in the Czech Republic, and demonstrated that most infections were with pig-specific genotypes. Nonetheless, swine may still play a role in the transmission of E. bieneusi to humans.