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Microsporidiosis: Enterocytozoon bieneusi in domesticated and wild animals

Santin, Monica, Fayer, Ronald
Research in veterinary science 2011 v.90 no.3 pp. 363-371
Microsporidia, cattle, dogs, epidemiology, feces, genetic variation, genotype, horses, host range, host specificity, humans, internal transcribed spacers, microsporidiosis, parasites, pathogens, public health, spores, swine, taxonomy, veterinary medicine, wild animals
Microsporidia are a ubiquitous group of obligate intracellular parasites that infect all major animal groups. Enterocytozoon bieneusi is the most commonly identified Microsporidia in humans and has also been reported worldwide in animals with importance in veterinary medicine (e.g. cats, dogs, horses, cattle and pigs). The identification of E. bieneusi in animals has raised the question of the importance of animal reservoirs in the epidemiology of this pathogen, and the implications of the infection with this pathogen in infected animals. Considerable genetic diversity within E. bieneusi has been found with over 90 genotypes identified based on the ITS nucleotide sequence of E. bieneusi spores recovered from the feces of infected humans and animals. Both host-adapted E. bieneusi genotypes with narrow host ranges and potentially zoonotic genotypes with wide host specificity have been identified. The information presented in this review should be useful in understanding the taxonomy, epidemiology, zoonotic potential, and importance in public health of E. bieneusi.