The reservoirs and the routes of transmission of Enterocytozoon bieneusi are still unknown. In humans, it is the most commonly found microsporidial species. It has also been found repeatedly in pigs, too. The first detection of E. bieneusi in cattle is reported herein. Two distinct genotypes were characterized and compared with 4 other genotypes from humans, 6 from pigs, and 1 from a cat. From these 13 E. bieneusi genotypes known to date, 25 polymorphic sites could be identified in the internal transcribed spacer of the rRNA gene. The spectrum of polymorphisms within and between each of the 4 host species indicates a close relationship between E. bieneusi strains from humans and pigs, whereas those from cattle are more distantly related. The data suggest the absence of a transmission barrier between pigs and humans for this pathogen.
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