RESEARCH PAPER
Occurrence of microsporidia as emerging pathogens in Slovak Roma children and their impact on public health
 
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1
Pavol Jozef Šafárik University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health, Košice, Slovak Republic
2
Department of Biology and Genetics, University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy, Košice, Slovak Republic
3
Institute of Parasitology, Biology Centre of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Czech Republic
4
Faculty of Agriculture, University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice, Czech Republic
5
Institute of Health and Social Science, Prešov of Sv. Elizabeth, University of Health and Social Sciences, Bratislava, Slovak Republic
 
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2013;20(4):695–698
KEYWORDS
ABSTRACT
Introduction and objective:
Microsporidia are identified as ubiquitous organisms of almost every animal group and are now recognized as emerging opportunistic pathogens of human. The risk factors include immunodeficiency, lack of sanitation, and exposure to contaminated water and infected animals. In Slovakia, the places with an increased risk of infection due to the presence of risk factors and routes of transmission are represented by Roma settlements. Therefore, the aim of this work was to study the occurrence of Encephalitozoon spp. and E. bieneusi in children living in Roma settlements.

Material and Methods:
Stool samples were examined of 72 clinically healthy children coming from a group of the non-integrated Roma minority for the presence of microsporidia Encephalitozoon spp. and E. bieneusi. Microsporidian spores were detected by standard Rylux D, staining and by PCR and DNA sequencing.

Results:
Of the total number of 72 stool smears examined, 22 were positive, which represented 30.6%. By the Real Time PCR, E. bieneusi was detected in 3 samples (4.2 %) and E. cuniculi in 19 samples (26.4 %). By comparing the sequences with sequences in the GenBank, E. cuniculi genotype I (Accession No. AJ005581.1) and E. bieneusi genotype A (Accession No. AF101197.1).

Conclusions:
Microsporidia, as newly emerging pathogens of humans and animals, are characterised by the production of spores which are environmentally resistant. Diseases caused by them have a cosmopolitan occurrence. Although E. bieneusi and E. cuniculi belong to the most frequently diagnosed species of microsporidia in humans, in Slovakia, this is the first confirmed evidence of E. bieneusi genotype A, as well as E. cuniculi genotype I in humans by the molecular method.

 
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