Location and Pathogenic Potential of Blastocystis in the Porcine IntestineReport as inadecuate




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Blastocystis is an ubiquitous, enteric protozoan of humans and many other species. Human infection has been associated with gastrointestinal disease such as irritable bowel syndrome, however, this remains unproven. A relevant animal model is needed to investigate the pathogenesis-pathogenicity of Blastocystis. We concluded previously that pigs are likely natural hosts of Blastocystis with a potentially zoonotic, host-adapted subtype ST, ST5, and may make suitable animal models. In this study, we aimed to characterise the host-agent interaction of Blastocystis and the pig, including localising Blastocystis in porcine intestine using microscopy, PCR and histopathological examination of tissues. Intestines from pigs in three different management systems, i.e., a commercial piggery, a small family farm and a research herd where the animals were immunosuppressed were examined. This design was used to determine if environment or immune status influences intestinal colonisation of Blastocystis as immunocompromised individuals may potentially be more susceptible to blastocystosis and development of associated clinical signs. Intestines from all 28 pigs were positive for Blastocystis with all pigs harbouring ST5. In addition, the farm pigs had mixed infections with STs 1 and-or 3. Blastocystis organisms-DNA were predominantly found in the large intestine but were also detected in the small intestine of the immunosuppressed and some of the farm pigs, suggesting that immunosuppression and-or husbandry factors may influence Blastocystis colonisation of the small intestine. No obvious pathology was observed in the histological sections. Blastocystis was present as vacuolar-granular forms and these were found within luminal material or in close proximity to epithelial cells, with no evidence of attachment or invasion. These results concur with most human studies, in which Blastocystis is predominantly found in the large intestine in the absence of significant organic pathology. Our findings also support the use of pigs as animal models and may have implications for blastocystosis diagnosis-treatment.



Author: Wenqi Wang , Helle Bielefeldt-Ohmann, Rebecca J. Traub, Leigh Cuttell, Helen Owen

Source: http://plos.srce.hr/



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