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New Haplotypes of Blastocystis sp. Identified in Faeces from Various Animal Groups in Algeria

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Abstract

Purpose

Blastocystis sp. is a single-celled, anaerobic, parasitic protozoan commonly found in the intestinal tract of animals and humans globally. Genetic analysis has revealed significant diversity within its species, leading to the identification of at least 40 subtypes (ST1–ST40). This study aimed to identify and differentiate Blastocystis in faeces samples from various animal hosts in Algeria.

Methods

A total of 403 fecal samples, collected from both domestic and zoo animals, were subjected to PCR amplification and sequencing of Blastocystis-specific small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU-RNA) gene.

Results

The overall prevalence of Blastocystis in animals was found to be 38.9%. Through comprehensive phylogenetic and phylogeographic analyses, we identified four distinct subtypes (ST1 in both domestic and zoo animals, and ST3, ST4, and ST5 exclusively in zoo animals), encompassing nine different haplotypes, including five that appear original to Algeria.

Conclusion

This study represents the first epidemiological molecular investigation of Blastocystis sp. in animals in Algeria.

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Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the ‘Direction Générale de la Recherche Scientifique et du Développement Technologique DGRSDT’. We would like to thank the Laboratory of Parasitic Eco-epidemiology and Population Genetics for resources and the Virology department for providing us with the sequencer and their technical assistance, particularly Mr. Fayez Ahmed Khardine. We are grateful to all the owners for making their animals available for faeces collection.

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Guilane, A., Haleche, I., Tazerouti, F. et al. New Haplotypes of Blastocystis sp. Identified in Faeces from Various Animal Groups in Algeria. Acta Parasit. (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11686-024-00857-4

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