Molecular detection and genotyping of microsporidia species in chickens in Turkey

Ercan N., Duzlu Ö., Yildirim A.

COMPARATIVE IMMUNOLOGY MICROBIOLOGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES, vol.72, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 72
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.cimid.2020.101516
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Environment Index, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: Enterocytozoon bieneusi, Encephalitozoon spp., Chickens, Molecular prevalence, ENTEROCYTOZOON-BIENEUSI GENOTYPES, ENCEPHALITOZOON, EPIDEMIOLOGY, PREVALENCE, SEQUENCE, PIGEONS, HUMANS, CHINA, SHEEP
  • Erciyes University Affiliated: Yes


Microsporidia are obligate intracellular pathogens that infect various hosts including invertebrates and vertebrates. Despite the importance, knowledge on the prevalence and molecular characteristics of microsporidia in chickens is limited, and no data are available for Turkey. A total of 300 fecal samples from chickens in the Central Anatolia Region of Turkey were analyzed by using a nested polymerase chain reaction assay targeting the rRNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region for the common microsporidia species. Corresponding PCR amplicons from the positive samples were sequenced for genotyping. Enterocytozoon bieneusi was identified in 22 (7.3 %) samples, whereas Encephalitozoon spp. was not detected. The prevalence of E. bieneusi was 63.6 % in Kayseri and 36.4 % in Nevsehir provinces, and 8.8 % in soft fecal samples and 9.7 % in diarrhoeic samples. No infections were found in Kirsehir Province. Significant differences were found for the distribution of E. bieneusi among provinces and fecal conditions. Infections were found only in free-range chickens. As a result of ITS region sequencing, two genotypes were characterized. The novel genotype ERUNT1 (n = 21), belonging to zoonotic group 1, was the most common genotype throughout the study area. The other known genotype, ERUSS1 (n = 1), had a restricted distribution and was previously detected in cattle and sheep in the same region. Our study provides the first data on microsporidia species from chickens in Turkey. None of these genotypes have been reported in humans; thus, the risk potential for public health is limited but needs further investigation.