Folia Parasitologica, vol. 64 (2017)

Folia Parasitologica 64:034 (2017) | DOI: 10.14411/fp.2017.034

Stray cats are more frequently infected with zoonotic protists than pet cats

Martin Kváč1,2, Lada Hofmannová3, Ynes Ortega4, Nikola Holubová1,2, Michaela Horčičková1,2, Marta Kicia5, Lenka Hlásková2, Dana Květoňová2, Bohumil Sak2, John McEvoy6
1 Faculty of Agriculture, University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice, České Budějovice, Czech Republic;
2 Institute of Parasitology, Biology Centre, Czech Academy of Sciences, České Budějovice, Czech Republic;
3 Department of Pathology and Parasitology, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Brno, Czech Republic;
4 Center for Food Safety, Department of Food Science & Technology, University of Georgia, Griffin, USA;
5 Department of Biology and Medical Parasitology, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland;
6 Department of Microbiological Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, USA

Faecal samples were collected from cats kept as pets (n = 120) and stray cats (n = 135) in Central Europe (Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia) and screened for the presence of Cryptosporidium spp., Giardia intestinalis (Kunstler, 1882), Encephalitozoon spp. and Enterocytozoon bieneusi Desportes, Le Charpentier, Galian, Bernard, Cochand-Priollet, Lavergne, Ravisse et Modigliani, 1985 by PCR analysis of the small-subunit of rRNA (Cryptosporidium spp. and G. intestinalis) and ITS (microsporidia) genes. Sequence analysis of targeted genes revealed the presence of C. felis Iseki, 1979, G. intestinalis assemblage F, E. cuniculi Levaditi, Nicolau et Schoen, 1923 genotype II, and E. bieneusi genotype D. There was no correlation between the occurrence of detected parasites and sex, presence of diarrhoea or drug treatment (drug containing pyrantel and praziquantel). Compared to pet cats (7%), stray cats (30%) were statistically more frequently infected with protist parasites and overall may present a greater risk to human health.

Keywords: Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Encephalitozoon, Enterocytozoon bieneusi, antiparasitics, PCR

Received: August 30, 2017; Accepted: November 10, 2017; Published online: December 6, 2017


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