Joanna DabrowskaNational Veterinary Research Institute, Poland
Title: Tritrichomonas foetus in susceptible animals in Poland - current epidemiological situation
Tritrichomonas foetus is a protozoan parasite that can cause disease in cattle and cats, while also living as a commensal in pigs. Bovine tritrichomonosis, a sexually transmitted disease, is caused by T. foetus and is a notifiable disease on the OIE list. In Poland, strict regulations are in place to prevent its reintroduction to dairy herds. Feline tritrichomonosis is common worldwide and T. foetus mainly causes large bowel diarrhea.
T. foetus has also been identified in the nasal cavity, stomach, and intestines of pigs, but there is no obligation to examine or report porcine tritrichomonosis, making the real prevalence in Poland unknown. To identify T. foetus, molecular methods such as PCR and loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) were adapted.
The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of T. foetus in selected populations of cats, pigs, and cattle in Poland using conventional PCR and LAMP. The study collected 117 feline fecal samples, 172 pig nasal swabs, and 180 bovine specimens. All samples were examined using PCR and LAMP, with statistical analysis performed using Statistica v10 (StatSoft Inc., Tulsa, OK, USA).
The study found a 20.51% prevalence of feline tritrichomonosis, with statistically significant differences observed between animal groups in terms of age, breed, the number of cats, diarrhea, and place of living. Positive PCR and LAMP results for T. foetus were estimated for 16.28% of pigs, and the data were significantly correlated with age but not with farm size.
Bovine tritrichomonosis was not found in the survey, consistent with data from other EU countries.
In conclusion, the study shows the presence of T. foetus in cat and pig populations in Poland, even though Poland is considered free of bovine tritrichomonosis. The occurrence of T. foetus in pigs may increase the risk of transmission to cattle.
Joanna D?browska is a biotechnologist, assistant professor at the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI) in Poland, where she focuses on the study of veterinary and medical parasitology. Her research interests lie in the identification of parasites using the latest molecular tools, and she has made significant contributions in the field of T. foetus research. Joanna has developed LAMP PCR and real-time PCR as basic diagnostic tests for rapid detection of T. foetus from clinical samples of susceptible animals.
During her one-year scholarship in Switzerland, she worked on the Whole Generation Sequencing of T. foetus project in collaboration with the Institute of Parasitology from the University of Bern. Her extensive knowledge and experience in the field of molecular biology and parasitology have enabled her to conduct sequencing of parasites using nanopore technology.
Joanna is currently conducting studies on the proteomics and transcriptomics of T. foetus and Anisakis simplex as well. Her dedication to research and her commitment to using the latest technologies and techniques make her a valuable asset to the scientific community.