Detection of new emerging pathogens microsporidia in recreational areas in Leicester, UK: potential risks for human health.
Humans are increasingly being exposed to a different range of biological hazards in the urban media. The identification of these hazards and the implementation of intervention mechanisms to protect the public health are therefore necessary. Microsporidia, a new emerging pathogenic group, forms environmentally resistant spores, and has been related with recent water- and food-borne outbreaks. “Urban” animals can be reservoirs of these parasites playing a role in the environmental contamination of cities. Accidental ingestion of microsporidia spores while playing or spending time in recreational areas may be a significant risk for people. However, there is limited information about the presence of microsporidia in the UK environment. 18 faecal and 9 soil samples were collected in recreational areas in Leicester city between January and February 2016. A veterinarian identified the possible animal species of the stool samples: 8 avian (pigeons and water birds), 6 dogs, 3 cats and 2 unidentified due to diarrhoea. After appropriate preparation of each sample, detection of microsporidia was performed with the conventional parasitological technique of Weber’s Trichrome staining. We observed microsporidia spores in two samples from dogs and none were identified in soil samples. Although our results should be taken as preliminary, they might indicate a possible potential zoonotic role of domestic dogs in the transmission of these pathogens. Dogs are in close contact to human, so further research is critical to assess the public risks of these pathogens in the urban media and the identification of applicable interventions to decontaminate the environment to protect humans.
Citation : Peña-Fernández, A. et al. (2016) Detection of new emerging pathogens microsporidia in recreational areas in Leicester, UK: potential risks for human health. 52nd European Congress of the European Societies of Toxicology. Seville, Spain, 4-7 September 2016. Toxicology Letters 2016; 258S, pp. S183
Research Group : Infectious Disease Research Group
Research Institute : Leicester Institute for Pharmaceutical Innovation - From Molecules to Practice (LIPI)
Peer Reviewed : Yes