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First genotyping of Blastocystis in yaks from Qinghai Province, northwestern China

Ren, Mei, Song, Jun-ke, Yang, Fan, Zou, Min, Wang, Pin-xue, Wang, Dan, Zhang, Hui-jun, Zhao, Guang-hui, Lin, Qing
Parasites & vectors 2019 v.12 no.1 pp. 171
Blastocystis, control methods, feces, genes, genotype, genotyping, protists, provenance, ribosomal RNA, ribosomes, sequence analysis, wild animals, yaks, China
BACKGROUND: Blastocystis is a common protist that can infect domestic and wild animals worldwide. Yak (Bos grunniens), an ancient species which can survive in alpine regions, has supplied necessities to local residents in plateau areas for generations. However, the infections with Blastocystis in yaks has been ignored for a long time. In the present study, the infections and genotypes of Blastocystis spp. in domestic yaks from Qinghai Province (northwestern China) were explored. RESULTS: Of 1027 faecal samples collected from yaks in seven regions of Qinghai Province, northwestern China, the total prevalence of Blastocystis was 27.07% (278/1027) targeting the small subunit ribosome rRNA (SSU rRNA) gene. This protist was detected in yaks within each examined age group, geographical origin and season. Significant difference in prevalence was found in yaks from different geographical origins. The highest prevalence (48.94%) was observed in animals from Haixi county. Sequence analysis revealed three animal-specific subtypes (ST10, ST12 and ST14) of Blastocystis spp. in these yaks, with ST10 being the predominant subtype widely distributed in all investigated regions, seasons and age groups. Interestingly, this is the first report about subtype ST12 infecting yaks. CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, this is the first systematic report on Blastocystis prevalence in yaks from China, and the findings provide fundamental data for establishing effective control measures for this protist in yaks as well as other animals in China.