Acta Parasitologica

, Volume 61, Issue 4, pp 665–670 | Cite as

First report of mixed Entamoeba polecki (ST 1) and E. suis infection in piglets shedding abnormal feces by histopathological and molecular surveys

  • Makoto Matsubayashi
  • Yuri Sasagawa
  • Tsunehiko Aita
  • Masaharu Tokoro
  • Makoto Haritani
  • Tomoyuki ShibaharaEmail author


Of the three species of Entamoeba found in swine, namely E. histolytica, E. polecki and E. suis, E. histolytica can also infect humans, producing colitis or abscesses of liver and leading to death. However, the pathogenicity of other species of Entamoeba has not been fully characterized. Here, we conducted histopathology and molecular surveys on a pig farm where piglets had blackish feces or muddy diarrhea. Histopathological examination of two piglets showed necrosis of the mucous surface at the ileum, cecum, or colon, infiltration of neutrophils, and formation of ulcers. Based on morphological characteristics, E. polecki and E. suis trophozoites were mainly detected at lamina propria and surface of the lesion, respectively, and Lawsonia intracellularis, a bacterial pathogen, was also detected. Molecular analysis using the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene on other piglets and a sow revealed infection with both E. polecki and E. suis. These findings corroborate our previous reports that the two Entamoeba spp. are pathogenic in pigs as aggravations of symptoms with L. intracellularis. This is the first report about mixed infection with E. polecki and E. suis.


Entamoeba suis Entamoeba polecki mixed infection pigs 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bradford C.M., Denver M.C., Cranfield M.R. 2008. Development of a polymerase chain reaction test for Entamoeba invadens. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, 39, 201–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Clark C.G., Kaffashian F., Tawari B., Windsor J.J., Twigg-Flesner A., Davies-Morel M.C., Blessmann J., Ebert F., Peschel B., Le Van A., Jackson C.J., Macfarlane L., Tannich E. 2006. New insights into the phylogeny of Entamoeba species provided by analysis of four new small-subunit rRNA genes. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, 56, 2235–2239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Desowitz R.S., Barnish G. 1986. Entamoeba polecki and other intestinal protozoa in Papua New Guinea Highland children. Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, 80, 399–402CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Evangelopoulos A., Spanakos G., Patsoula E., Vakalis N., Legakis N. 2000. A nested, multiplex, PCR assay for the simultaneous detection and differentiation of Entamoeba histolytica and Entamoeba dispar in faeces. Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, 94, 233–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. He G.Z., Feng Y., Deng S.X. 2012. Evaluation of the intestinal microbial diversity in miniature pig after orally infected with Entamoeba histolytica. Parasitology Research, 111, 939–941CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Jones G.F., Ward G.E., Murtaugh M.P., Lin G., Gebhart C.J. 1993. Enhanced detection of intracellular organism of swine proliferative enteritis, ileal symbiont intracellularis, in feces by polymerase chain reaction. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 31, 2611–2615PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. Kawashima K., Tsunemitsu H., Horino R., Katsuda K., Onodera T., Shoji T., Kubo M., Haritani M., Murakami Y. 2003. Effects of dexamethasone on the pathogenesis of porcine circovirus type 2 infection in piglets. Journal of Comparative Pathology, 129, 294–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Kawashima K., Yamada S., Kobayashi H., Narita M. 1996. Detection of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus and Mycoplasma hyorhinis antigens in pulmonary lesions of pigs suffering from respiratory distress. Journal of Comparative Pathology, 114, 315–323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. La T., Phillips N.D., Hampson D.J. 2003. Development of a duplex PCR assay for detection of Brachyspira hyodysenteriae and Brachyspira pilosicoli in pig feces. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 41, 3372–3375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. León-Avila G., Tovar J. 2004. Mitosomes of Entamoeba histolytica are abundant mitochondrion-related remnant organelles that lack a detectable organellar genome. Microbiology, 150, 1245–1250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Matsubayashi M., Suzuta F., Terayama Y., Shimojo K., Yui T., Haritani M., Shibahara T. 2014. Ultrastructural characteristics and molecular identification of Entamoeba suis isolated from pigs with hemorrhagic colitis: implications for pathogenicity. Parasitology Research, 113, 3023–3028. DOI: 10.1007/s00436-014-3965-yCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Matsubayashi M., Kanamori K., Sadahiro M., Tokoro M., Abe N., Haritani M., Shibahara T. 2015a. First molecular identification of Entamoeba polecki in a piglet in Japan and implications for aggravation of ileitis by coinfection with Lawsonia intracellularis. Parasitology Research, 114, 3069–3073. DOI: 10.1007/s00436-015-4509-9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Matsubayashi M., Murakoshi N., Komatsu T., Tokoro M., Haritani M., Shibahara T. 2015b. First molecular identification of Entamoeba polecki subtype 3 (Entamoeba struthionis) from a pig in Japan and characterization of its pathogenic role in ulcerative colitis. Infection, Genetics and Evolution, 36, 8–14. DOI: 10.1016/j.meegid.2015.08.030CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Noble G.A., Noble E.R. 1952. Entamoebae in farm mammals. Journal of Parasitology, 38, 571-595CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Prophet E.B., Mills B., Arrington J.B., Sobin L.H. (Eds.). 1992. Laboratory Methods in Histotechnology. American Registry of Pathology, Washington DC, pp. 132–214Google Scholar
  16. Schuster F.L., Visvesvara G.S. 2004. Amebae and ciliated protozoa as causal agents of waterborne zoonotic disease. Veterinary Parasitology, 126, 91–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Shibahara T., Wada Y., Sueyoshi M., Ohya T., Ishikawa Y., Kadota K. 2000. Bovine intestinal spirochaetosis with dysentery. Veterinary Record, 146, 585–586CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Shimizu C., Shibahara T., Takai S., Kasuya K., Chikuba T., Murakoshi N., Kobayashi H., Kubo M. 2010. Lawsonia intracellularis and virulent Rhodococcus equi infection in a thoroughbred colt. Journal of Comparative Pathology, 143:303–8. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcpa.2010.03.005CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Skappak C., Akierman S., Belga S., Novak K., Chadee K., Urbanski S.J., Church D., Beck P.L. 2014. Invasive amoebiasis: a review of Entamoeba infections highlighted with case reports. Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, 28, 355–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Solaymani-Mohammadi S., Rezaian M., Hooshyar H., Mowlavi G.R., Babaei Z., Anwar M.A. 2004. Intestinal protozoa in wild boars (Sus scrofa) in western Iran. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 40, 801–803CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Stensvold C.R., Lebbad M., Victory E.L., Verweij J.J., Tannich E., Alfellani M., Legarraga P., Clark C.G. 2011. Increased sampling reveals novel lineages of Entamoeba: consequences of genetic diversity and host specificity for taxonomy and molecular detection. Protist, 162, 525–541. DOI: 10.1016/j.protis.2010.11.002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Tachibana H., Kobayashi S., Takekoshi M., Ihara S. 1991. Distinguishing pathogenic isolates of Entamoeba histolytica by polymerase chain reaction. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 164, 825–826CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Tovar J., Fischer A., Clark C.G. 1999. The mitosome, a novel organelle related to mitochondria in the amitochondrial parasite Entamoeba histolytica. Molecular Microbiology, 32, 1013–1021CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Verweij J.J., Laeijendecker D., Brienen E.A., van Lieshout L., Polderman A.M. 2003. Detection and identification of Entamoeba species in stool samples by a reverse line hybridization assay. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 41, 5041–5045CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Verweij J.J., Polderman A.M., Clark C.G. 2001. Genetic variation among human isolates of uninucleated cyst-producing Entamoeba species. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 39, 1644–1646CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Witold Stefański Institute of Parasitology, Polish Academy of Sciences 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Makoto Matsubayashi
    • 1
  • Yuri Sasagawa
    • 2
  • Tsunehiko Aita
    • 2
  • Masaharu Tokoro
    • 3
  • Makoto Haritani
    • 1
  • Tomoyuki Shibahara
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.National Institute of Animal HealthNational Agricultural and Food Research OrganizationTsukuba, IbarakiJapan
  2. 2.Chuou Animal Health and Hygiene Service CenterNiigata PrefectureNishikan-ku, NiigataJapan
  3. 3.Department of Parasitology, Graduate School of Medical SciencesKanazawa UniversityTakara-machi, KanazawaJapan

Personalised recommendations