Prevalence of intestinal parasites with molecular detection and identification of Giardia duodenalis in fecal samples of mammals, birds and zookeepers at Beni-Suef Zoo, Egypt

Abstract

The current study aimed to investigate the prevalence of intestinal parasites from various species of mammals and birds housed in a zoological garden in Beni-Suef province, Egypt. A total of 77 fecal samples were collected from various primates (16), carnivores (7) and herbivores (54). Meanwhile, 123 fecal samples were collected from two Ostrichs (Struthio camelus), five Numida meleagris (Numida meleagris), twoIndian Peafowls (Pavo cristatus), two Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) 101 Pigeons (Columba livia domestica) and 11 Swan Goose (Anser sygnoides). In addition, seven stool samples from zookeepers who had been in close contact with animals and birds were examined. Salt flotation and formol ether sedimentation techniques were applied for parasitological examination. Positive samples of Giardia cysts were preserved in alcohol and kept at 4 °C until DNA extraction. Parasitological findings revealed that 48.05% of zoo animals were infected with intestinal parasites; 11.69% were positive with helminths and 27.27% with protozoa, however 9.09% had mixed infection. It was found that 75%, 57.14% and 38.89% of primates, carnivores and herbivores respectively were infected with intestinal parasites. In Primates the most prevalent parasites were Giardia spp. (43.75%) then Entamoeba histolytica/dispar (12.5%), Entamoeba coli (12.5%) and Trichuris spp. (6.25%). For carnivores, Ancylostomatidae had the highest prevalence (42.86%) followed by Spirometra spp. (14.29%). Meanwhile, Eimeria spp. (20.37%) was the most prevalent parasite in herbivores, followed by Blantidium coli (7.41%) and Tricuris spp. (7.41%), then Toxocara spp. (3.70%). Furthermore, the prevalence of infection in zoo birds was 21.95%. The identified parasites were Eimeria spp., Giardia spp., Capillaria spp., Ascaridia spp., Isospora spp. and Sublura brumpti. Stool examination of zookeepers revealed the presence of G. doudenalis and E. histolytica/ dispar cysts. The gdh gene of G. duodenalis was successfully amplified from fecal samples of zoo mammalsand zookeepers. In conclusion, the application of preventive and control measures against the propagation of infectious intestinal parasites is essential to prevent the spread of these parasites among zoo animals or to humans.

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Acknowledgement

The authors are appreciative to the manager of Beni-Suef zoo and zooworkers for their great help.

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AAK designed the study, analyzed and processed data, examination and identification of samples. GKA helped in samples collection, data evaluation and edited in the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Asmaa Alaa Kamel.

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Ethical statement

This study was conducted according to the ethical standards of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Beni-Suef University, Egypt and approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of Beni-Suef University (2019-BSUV-39).

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The zookeepers involved in this investigation consented to facilitate this study.

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Kamel, A.A., Abdel-Latef, G.K. Prevalence of intestinal parasites with molecular detection and identification of Giardia duodenalis in fecal samples of mammals, birds and zookeepers at Beni-Suef Zoo, Egypt. J Parasit Dis (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12639-020-01341-2

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Keyword

  • Giardia
  • Molecular analysis
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Zoo animals
  • Zoo birds