Background: Microsporidia are eukaryotic, single-celled intracellular parasites that can produce spores. Recently, they have been considered one of the opportunistic pathogens causing chronic diseases. There are more than 140 genera and 1200 species of microsporidia. Many human microsporidia are probably of zoonotic origin and are transmitted by contaminated water with animal feces. Given the zoonotic importance of this parasite and its ability to be transmitted from animals to humans, diagnosing and determining the species of parasite would seem essential for health strategies.
Methods: Two hundred fecal samples of slaughtered cows were collected from the Jahrom abattoirs from February 2021 to January 2022 and examined by molecular methods, including polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP-PCR).
Results: From the 200 samples examined by PCR, 19 (9.5%) samples tested positive for microsporidia, of which 17 isolates were Enterocytozoon bieneusi and two isolates were Encephalitozoon cuniculi.
Conclusion: The results revealed that microsporidia were present in cow feces. In addition, these findings indicated that cows can be considered a source of contamination for microsporidia. Given that this disease is a zoonosis, it is highly important to pay attention to the presence of this parasite in domestic animals that are in contact with humans. Further studies must be performed in different regions and different animals to understand the epizootiology of the pathogen. Eventually, the wide host range of microsporidia necessitates accurate identification of species and genera in all hosts all over the world.