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Molecular survey of Besnoitia spp. (Apicomplexa) in faeces from European wild mesocarnivores in Spain. Short running title: Molecular survey of Besnoitia spp in faeces from wild carnivores.
  • +11
  • David González-Barrio,
  • Pamela C. Köster,
  • Miguel Habela,
  • Manuel Martín-Pérez,
  • José Fernández-García,
  • Ana Balseiro,
  • Marta Barrel,
  • Fernando Najera,
  • Ana Figueiredo,
  • María Jesús Palacios,
  • MARTA Mateo,
  • David Carmena,
  • Gema Alvarez-Garcia,
  • Rafael Calero-Bernal
David González-Barrio
Universidad Complutense de Madrid Facultad de Veterinaria
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Pamela C. Köster
Instituto de Salud Carlos III Campus de Majadahonda
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Miguel Habela
Universidad de Extremadura Facultad de Veterinaria
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Manuel Martín-Pérez
Universidad de Extremadura Facultad de Veterinaria
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José Fernández-García
Universidad de Extremadura Facultad de Veterinaria
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Ana Balseiro
Universidad de Leon Departamento de Sanidad Animal
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Marta Barrel
Neiker Tecnalia Derio
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Fernando Najera
Junta de Extremadura Consejeria de Agricultura Desarrollo Rural Medio Ambiente y Energia
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Ana Figueiredo
Universidade de Aveiro Departamento de Biologia
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María Jesús Palacios
Junta de Extremadura Consejeria de Agricultura Desarrollo Rural Medio Ambiente y Energia
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MARTA Mateo
Universidad Alfonso X el Sabio
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David Carmena
Instituto de Salud Carlos III Campus de Majadahonda
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Gema Alvarez-Garcia
Universidad Complutense de Madrid Facultad de Veterinaria
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Rafael Calero-Bernal
Universidad Complutense de Madrid Facultad de Veterinaria
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Abstract

Numerous studies have unsuccessfully tried to unravel the definitive host of the coccidian parasite Besnoitia besnoiti. Cattle infections by B. besnoiti cause a chronic and debilitating condition called bovine besnoitiosis that has emerged in Europe during the last two decades, mainly due to limitations in its control associated to the absence of vaccines and therapeutical tools. Although the exact transmission pathway of B. besnoiti is currently unknown, it is assumed that the parasite might have an indirect life cycle with a carnivore as definitive host. Current lack of studies in wildlife might underestimate the importance of free-living species in the epidemiology of B. besnoiti. Thus, the aim of the present study is to assess the presence of Besnoitia spp. in free-ranging mesocarnivores in Spain. DNA was searched by PCR on faeces collected from wild carnivores as a first approach to determine which species could be considered as potential definitive host candidates in further research. For this purpose, a total of 352 faecal samples from 12 free-living wild carnivore species belonging to the Canidae, Felidae, Herpestidae, Mustelidae, Procyonidae, and Viverridae families were collected in seven Spanish regions. PCR testing showed that Besnoitia spp. DNA was present in four faecal samples from red foxes collected in western Spain, an area with the greatest density of extensively reared cattle and associated to high incidence of bovine besnoitiosis in the country. To date, this is the first report of a Besnoitia besnoiti-like sequence (99.57% homology) from carnivore faeces in a worldwide context. Red foxes might contribute to the epidemiology of B. besnoiti, although further studies, mostly based on bioassay, would be needed to elucidate the accuracy and extent of these interesting findings.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

12 May 2021Submitted to Transboundary and Emerging Diseases
12 May 2021Submission Checks Completed
12 May 2021Assigned to Editor
12 May 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
02 Jun 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
02 Jun 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
10 Jun 20211st Revision Received
11 Jun 2021Assigned to Editor
11 Jun 2021Submission Checks Completed
11 Jun 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
21 Jun 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
22 Jun 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
23 Jun 20212nd Revision Received
23 Jun 2021Submission Checks Completed
23 Jun 2021Assigned to Editor
23 Jun 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
23 Jun 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
23 Jun 2021Editorial Decision: Accept