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First report on the molecular prevalence of Enterocytozoon bieneusi in horses in Turkey: genotype distributions and zoonotic potential

  • Genetics, Evolution, and Phylogeny - Original Paper
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Horses might play an important role as reservoir hosts in the epidemiology of Enterocytozoon bieneusi, which is one of the most important zoonotic microsporidian pathogens, with a wide range of hosts. Nevertheless, limited information is available on the infection rates and genotypes of E. bieneusi in horses, and no data are available on the occurrence and molecular characteristics of E. bieneusi in horses in Turkey. We determined the prevalence of E. bieneusi among horses raised on farms from two provinces of Central Anatolia Region, by amplification of the partial small subunit ribosomal RNA gene using nested PCR. We identified the genotypes of E. bieneusi isolates by analyzing the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences. The overall prevalence of E. bieneusi was 18.7% (56/300), with no significant differences in infection rates among age groups or between genders of horses. Sequence analysis revealed eight genotypes: two known genotypes (ERUSS1, BEB6) and six novel genotypes (named ERUH2 to ERUH7). The genotype ERUSS1 was the most common and was found on all farms, age groups, and genders. Phylogenetic analysis clustered all the identified genotypes in ruminant-specific group 2. Our findings contribute to the molecular epidemiology of E. bieneusi.

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We thank Prof. Peter H. Adler (Clemson University, USA) for his kind proofreading of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Onder Duzlu.

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Yildirim, A., Okur, M., Uslug, S. et al. First report on the molecular prevalence of Enterocytozoon bieneusi in horses in Turkey: genotype distributions and zoonotic potential. Parasitol Res 119, 2821–2828 (2020).

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