Iranian Journal of Parasitology 2015. 10(3):381-388.

Molecular Detection and Identification of Zoonotic Microspor-idia Spore in Fecal Samples of Some Animals with Close-Con-tact to Human


Background: Microsporidia species are obligatory intracellular agents that can in­fect all major animal groups including mammals, birds, fishes and insects. Whereas world­wide human infection reports are increasing, the cognition of sources of infec­tion particularly zoonotic transmission could be helpful. We aimed to detect zoono­tic microsporidia spore in fecal samples from some animals with close – contact to human.

Methods: Overall, 142 fecal samples were collected from animals with closed-con­tact to human, during 2012-2013. Trichrome – blue staining were performed and DNA was then extracted from samples, identified positive, microscopically. Nested PCR was also carried out with primers targeting SSU rRNA gene and PCR products were sequenced.

Results: From 142 stool samples, microsporidia spores have been observed microscopi­cally in 15 (10.56%) samples. En. cuniculi was found in the faces of 3 (15%) small white mice and 1 (10%) laboratory rabbits(totally 2.81%). Moreover, E. bieneusi was detected in 3 (10%) samples of sheep, 2 (5.12%) cattle, 1 (10%) rabbit, 3 (11.53%) cats and 2 (11.76%) ownership dogs (totally 7.74%). Phylogenetic analysis showed interesting data. This is the first study in Iran, which identified E. bieneusi and En. Cuniculi in fecal samples of laboratory animals with close – contact to human as well as domesticated animal and analyzed them in phylogenetic tree.

Conclusion: E. bieneusi is the most prevalent microsporidia species in animals. Our results can also alert us about potentially zoonotic transmission of microsporidiosis.


Laboratory animals , Enterocytozoon bieneusi , Encephalitozoon cuniculi , Zoonotic transmission

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