Location and pathogenic potential of Blastocystis in the porcine intestine

Wang, Wenqi, Bielefeldt-Ohmann, Helle, Traub, Rebecca J., Cuttell, Leigh and Owen, Helen (2014) Location and pathogenic potential of Blastocystis in the porcine intestine. PLoS One, 9 8: e103962.1-e103962.8. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0103962

Author Wang, Wenqi
Bielefeldt-Ohmann, Helle
Traub, Rebecca J.
Cuttell, Leigh
Owen, Helen
Title Location and pathogenic potential of Blastocystis in the porcine intestine
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2014-08-05
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0103962
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 9
Issue 8
Start page e103962.1
End page e103962.8
Total pages 8
Place of publication San Francisco, CA United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Subject 1100 Agricultural and Biological Sciences
1300 Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
2700 Medicine
Abstract 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.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Veterinary Science Publications
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