Subtyping of Blastocystis infection in common quails (Coturnix coturnix) in Xinxiang city of China
Keywords:Blastocystis, subtype, genetic characteristics, zoonotic transmission, quail
Blastocystis is a unicellular anaerobic intestinal protist primarily of various animal species worldwide, and has been reported to inhabit humans as well. Blastocystis infections and subtype identification have been documented in China, although infections by the protist in quail remain unknown. Herein, a total of 128 fecal samples were collected from captive quails (Coturnix coturnix) in Xinxiang city, central China, and tested for the prevalence and genetic characteristics of Blastocystis. Ten (7.8%) samples were positive by PCR amplification and sequencing the barcode regeion of the SSU rRNA gene. Sequence analysis showed that ST7 was the predominant subtype with max identity of 100% to human isolates. Phylogenetic analysis of current isolates corroborated the initial classification, which indicated the potential susceptibility of quail to ST7 and extended its host range in this region. This study is the first to explore Blastocystis infection in quail in China, and the findings of human-pathogenic ST7 suggest the possibility of zoonotic transmission to breeders.