Detection of new Enterocytozoon genotypes in faecal samples of farm dogs and a cat

Parasite. 1999 Jun;6(2):189-93. doi: 10.1051/parasite/1999062189.


The microsporidian species Enterocytozoon bieneusi had emerged as opportunistic pathogen in AIDS patients causing chronic diarrhoea and was found with high prevalences in faeces of asymptomatic pigs. Analysis of the ribosomal RNA gene internal transcribed spacer (rDNA ITS) had revealed that nine distinct but closely related genotypes occur in humans and in swine. Using primers that were designed to be specific for E. bieneusi, we obtained amplicons from the faecal samples of one from twelve cats and from three out of 36 farm dogs. Sequence analysis of the rDNA ITS, which is part of the diagnostic PCR product, revealed that the isolate from the cat is very closely related to the E. bieneusi genotypes of human or swine origin. The corresponding sequence of all three dog-derived isolates were identical among each other and had a sequence similarity to known sequences of only 47.6-48.2%. In addition, part of the small subunit rRNA gene was amplified and sequenced from one dog-derived isolate revealing a similarity to known sequences of human-derived E. bieneusi of 96-98%. Enterocytozoon-like spores could be detected by light microscopy in one canine sample. Together with recent reports of detection of Enterocytozoon in environmental samples, our findings suggest that microsporidia of the genus. Enterocytozoon seem to be ubiquitous and consist of many genotypes in various naturally infected animal species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / parasitology
  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Cat Diseases / parasitology
  • Cats
  • DNA, Protozoan / genetics
  • DNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • Dog Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Dog Diseases / parasitology
  • Dogs
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Microsporidia / classification
  • Microsporidia / genetics*
  • Microsporidia / isolation & purification
  • Microsporidiosis / diagnosis
  • Microsporidiosis / transmission
  • Microsporidiosis / veterinary*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny


  • DNA, Protozoan
  • DNA, Ribosomal

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF059610
  • GENBANK/AF118144
  • GENBANK/AF119100