Acta Parasitol. 2022 Aug 26. doi: 10.1007/s11686-022-00610-9. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Protozoans of Entamoeba spp. are one of the most common enteric parasites that infect humans and diverse animals including deer.
PURPOSE: However, data regarding the prevalence and species/genotypes of Entamoeba spp. in deer in China is scarce. This study investigated the prevalence and species distribution of Entamoeba spp. in sika deer (Cervus nippon) in Anhui Province.
METHODS: In our survey, 336 fecal samples were collected from five sika deer farms in different regions of Anhui Province. All samples were examined for the presence of Entamoeba spp. by PCR and phylogenetic analysis of the conserved 18S rRNA gene.
RESULTS: 106/336 (31.5%) fecal samples were positive for Entamoeba spp. A statistically significant difference in the prevalence of Entamoeba spp. infection was observed between sampling farms (p < 0.001), and the prevalence of Entamoeba spp. in male and female sika deer showed no significant difference (p > 0.05). Sequence and phylogenetic analysis revealed the single species, E. bovis, was identified in this study.
CONCLUSION: This is the first report about the identification of E. bovis in farm-raised sika deer in China, and these results expand our understanding of host range and species distribution of Entamoeba spp. in ruminants.