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Vet Parasitol. 2013 Nov 8;197(3-4):696-701. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2013.07.025. Epub 2013 Jul 22.

Presence of zoonotic Enterocytozoon bieneusi in cats in a temple in central Thailand.

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Department of Protozoology, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.


Enterocytozoon bieneusi is a common opportunistic intestinal pathogen in humans and animals. To investigate the prevalence, genotype and host specificity of E. bieneusi, 111 dog faecal samples were collected from dairy cattle farms, and 95 and 80 faecal samples were collected from dogs and cats, respectively, in a temple in central Thailand. E. bieneusi was found in 25 (31.3%) cats by nested PCR, but not in dogs. Genotyping analysis targeting the internal transcribed spacer of the rRNA gene identified genotype D - and other novel genotypes very similar to genotype D - which is a zoonotic genotype reported in both HIV patients and villagers in rural communities in Thailand. This is the first study to find E. bieneusi genotype D in cats, and it may be that cats are found to play an important role in E. bieneusi zoonotic transmission to humans. The present study indicates that further molecular epidemiological investigations of E. bieneusi among cats are necessary to evaluate their possible role as reservoir hosts and the potential risk they represent to humans.


Cats; Dogs; Enterocytozoon bieneusi; Temple; Thailand

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