College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou, 450002, China.
Enterocytozoon bieneusi is one of the most frequently diagnosed Microsporidia of humans and most animals. However, there is no information on E. bieneusi infection of pigs in Tibet and Henan, China. In this study, 1,190 fecal samples were collected from pigs in Tibet and Henan and screened for the presence of E. bieneusi. The overall prevalence of E. bieneusi infection was 54.2% (645/1,190), with differences in prevalence observed among geographical areas, ages, and pig breeds. Moreover, 10 E. bieneusi genotypes were identified based on internal transcribed spacer region genotyping, including eight known genotypes (EbpC, EbpA, CHG19, CHC5, Henan-III, I, D, and H) and two novel genotypes (XZP-I and XZP-II). Multilocus sequence typing revealed 18, 7, 17, and 13 genotypes at minisatellite/microsatellite loci MS1, MS3, MS4, and MS7, respectively. Strong linkage disequilibrium (LD) and few numbers of recombination events, suggest a clonal structure of the E. bieneusi population examined in this study. The low pairwise genetic distance (F ) and gene flow (Nm) values indicated limited gene flow in the E. bieneusi population from different hosts, with phylogenetic, structure, and median-joining network analyses all indicating the existence of host and geographical isolation. The identification of isolates belonging to nine human-pathogenic genotypes indicates that pigs play an important role in the dissemination of E. bieneusi, improving our present understanding of E. bieneusi epidemiology in the studied region.
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