Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12105/16091
Survey of Zoonotic Diarrheagenic Protist and Hepatitis E Virus in Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) of Portugal
Animals (Basel). 2023 Jan 12;13(2):256.
Enteropathogenic parasites and viruses have been frequently reported in swine and can infect a wide range of mammals, including humans. Among the wide variety of parasites infecting swine, diarrhoeagenic protists are among those that cause significant morbidity. Hepatitis E virus (HEV) has also been reported both in domestic pigs and wild boar and is known to have an important public health significance. These agents share the fecal−oral transmission route, but data on their fecal shedding and circulation pathways are still lacking or incomplete. Hence, the aim of the present study was to characterize the presence of microeukaryotes and HEV in the wild boar of Portugal. Wild boar stool samples (n = 144) were obtained during the official hunting seasons (October to February) in 2018/2019, 2019/2020, and 2021/2022 and tested for Cryptosporidium spp., Balantioides coli, Giardia duodenalis, Blastocystis sp., Enterocytozoon bieneusi and HEV by molecular assays, followed by sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. We have detected Cryptosporidium scrofarum (1.4%, 95% CI: 0.2−4.9), B. coli (14.6%, 95% CI: 9.2−21.4), Blastocystis ST5 (29.2%, 95% CI: 21.9−37.2) and HEV genotype 3 (2.8%, 95% CI: 0.7−6.9; subgenotypes 3e and 3m). Co-infections were observed in thirteen animals where two were positive for both HEV and B. coli, one was positive for both C. scrofarum and Blastocystis ST5, and ten were positive for both B. coli and Blastocystis ST5. Giardia duodenalis and E. bieneusi were not detected in the surveyed wild boar population. As far as we know, this is the first report describing protist infections by Cryptosporidium spp., B. coli, and Blastocystis sp., as well as the first identification of the emerging HEV genotype 3m in wild boar of Portugal. The present work shows that potentially zoonotic protozoa and HEV are circulating in wild boar populations in Portugal. Awareness and epidemic-surveillance network implementation measures targeting wild boar are needed to prevent the spread of these pathogenic agents to humans.
Balantioides coli | Blastocystis sp | Cryptosporidium spp | Emerging infectious diseases | Hepatitis E virus | Zoonotic