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Parasites, Drugs and Captivity: Blastocystis-Microbiome Associations in Captive Water Voles

Betts, Emma L., Hoque, Sumaiya, Torbe, Lucy, Bailey, Jessica R., Ryan, Hazel, Toller, Karen, Breakell, Vicki, Carpenter, Angus I., Diana, Alex, Matechou, Eleni, and others. (2021) Parasites, Drugs and Captivity: Blastocystis-Microbiome Associations in Captive Water Voles. Biology, 10 (6). Article Number 457. ISSN 2079-7737. (doi:10.3390/biology10060457) (KAR id:88346)


Background: Blastocystis is a microbial eukaryote inhabiting the gastrointestinal tract of a broad range of animals including humans. Several studies have shown that the organism is associated with specific microbial profiles and bacterial taxa that have been deemed beneficial to intestinal and overall health. Nonetheless, these studies are focused almost exclusively on humans, while there is no similar information on other animals.

Methods: Using a combination of conventional PCR, cloning and sequencing, we investigated presence of Blastocystis along with Giardia and Cryptosporidium in 16 captive water voles sampled twice from a wildlife park. We also characterised their bacterial gut communities.

Results: Overall, alpha and beta diversities between water voles with and without Blastocystis did not differ significantly. Differences were noted only on individual taxa with Treponema and Kineothrix being significantly reduced in Blastocystis positive water voles. Grouping according to antiprotozoal treatment and presence of other protists did not reveal any differences in the bacterial community composition either.

Conclusion: Unlike human investigations, Blastocystis does not seem to be associated with specific gut microbial profiles in water voles.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.3390/biology10060457
Uncontrolled keywords: Blastocystis; captivity; microbiome; polyparasitism; water voles
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Biosciences
Signature Themes: Food Systems, Natural Resources and Environment, Migration and Movement
Funders: [37325] UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: Anastasios Tsaousis
Date Deposited: 24 May 2021 18:24 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 19:05 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Diana, Alex.

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Matechou, Eleni.

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Tsaousis, Anastasios D..

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