Prevalence and multilocus genotypes of Enterocytozoon bieneusi in alpacas (Vicugna pacos) in Shanxi Province, northern China

  • Ye-Ting Ma
  • Yang Zou
  • Qing LiuEmail author
  • Shi-Chen Xie
  • Run-Li Li
  • Xing-Quan Zhu
  • Wen-Wei GaoEmail author
Genetics, Evolution, and Phylogeny - Original Paper


Enterocytozoon bieneusi is a single-celled obligate pathogen that seriously threatens animal and public health. However, information on the prevalence and genotypes of E. bieneusi in alpacas in China is limited. In the present study, 366 fresh fecal samples from alpacas in Shanxi Province, northern China, were collected to detect E. bieneusi by nested PCR amplification of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) of nuclear ribosomal DNA (rDNA). The overall prevalence of E. bieneusi in alpacas was 4.4% (16/366), including 3.9% (12/305) in Yangqu County and 6.6% (4/61) in Dai county, respectively. Four known genotypes were identified, namely ALP1, ALP3, P, and SH11, all of which belong to the zoonotic group 1 by phylogenetic analysis. Moreover, ITS-positive samples were further characterized by PCR amplification of other four targets, including three microsatellites (MS1, MS3, and MS7) and one minisatellite (MS4). Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) showed that 5, 2, 3, and 3 types were identified at MS1, MS3, MS7, and MS4 loci, respectively, representing eight multilocus genotypes (MLGs). These findings contribute to the improved understanding of the prevalence and genotypes of E. bieneusi in alpacas in China and have important implications for controlling E. bieneusi infections in animals and humans.


Enterocytozoon bieneusi Alpaca (Vicugna pacosPrevalence Multilocus sequence Genotypes Shanxi Province 


Funding information

Project support was provided, in part, by the Science and Technology Key Research and Development Project of Shanxi Province (201703D221024-2), the Program for the Science and Technology Innovation of Shanxi Agricultural University (2017YJ10), and the Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Program (ASTIP) (grant no. CAAS-ASTIP-2016-LVRI-03).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Animal Science and Veterinary MedicineShanxi Agricultural UniversityTaiguPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Etiological Biology, Key Laboratory of Veterinary Parasitology of Gansu Province, Lanzhou Veterinary Research InstituteChinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesLanzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Jiangsu Co-innovation Center for the Prevention and Control of Important Animal Infectious Diseases and ZoonosesYangzhou University College of Veterinary MedicineJiangsu ProvincePeople’s Republic of China

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