Prevalence, Molecular Characterization and Risk Factors of Blastocystis sp. from Farmed Pigs in Yunnan Province, Southwestern China



Blastocystis is an enteral eukaryote that omnipresent existence in animals and humans global. The objective of the current study investigated the frequency and subtypes to evaluate risk factors for Blastocystis infection in pigs in southwestern China.

Materials and Methods

The 866 fecal samples were collected from farmed pigs in Yunnan province, which were determined by the molecular method of the nested PCR and phylogenetic analysis established on the small subunit rDNA (SSU rDNA) gene fragment.


A total of 433 specimens were detected Blastocystis positive, and the prevalence of is 50.0% (433/866). The significant differences in prevalence were also observed in pigs from regions (P < 0.01, df = 8, χ2 = 29.17) and age groups (P < 0.01, df = 2, χ2 = 66.6). Older pigs had more Blastocystis infection than younger ones. Moreover, three zoonotic subtypes were identified by DNA sequence analysis, included ST1 (7.39%, 32/433), ST3 (4.39%, 19/433) and ST5 (88.22%, 382/433).


The results suggested a high prevalence and diversified subtypes in farmed pigs in Yunnan province, southwestern China, which indicated pigs are most likely to potential reservoirs and zoonotic transmission of Blastocystis for human infection. To our knowledge, the study is the first large-scale systematic statement of Blastocystis colonization in Yunnan province, Southwestern China, which contributed to the in-depth study of genetic characteristics and prevention, control and treatment of Blastocystis in pigs in Yunnan province and other regions.

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Project support was provided by the Fund of Key Laboratory of Fujian Province Livestock Epidemic Prevention and Control and Biological technology (Grant No.2016KL01) and promotion project of ESI Discipline of Yunnan Agricultural University (Grant No. 2019YNAUESIMS03).

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Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Feng Cai Zou or Cui-Qin Huang.

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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethics Statement

The protocol of the present study has been reviewed and approved by the Animal Ethical and Welfare Committee of Key Laboratory of Veterinary Public Health of Yunnan Province, College of Veterinary Medicine, Yunnan Agricultural University.

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Han, J.Q., Li, Z., Zou, Y. et al. Prevalence, Molecular Characterization and Risk Factors of Blastocystis sp. from Farmed Pigs in Yunnan Province, Southwestern China. Acta Parasit. (2020).

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  • Blastocystis sp.
  • Pigs
  • Prevalence
  • Subtype
  • SSU rDNA
  • China