Summary: Coccidia belonging to the genus Besnoitia are
widespread and found on all continents. Species of this genus
parasitize cattle, goats, equids, reindeer, caribou, opossums,
rabbits, rodents and lizards. In Europe, two species are known,
Besnoitia tarandi and Besnoitia besnoiti, which infect respectively
cervids and cattle. Over the last two decades several new
cases were identified in Portugal, Spain, and France whilst, in
2008 B. besnoiti was described for the first time in Germany.
The raise in incidence of bovine besnoitiosis in Europe has
elicited a growing concern, due to economical losses associated
to mortality, premature culling and loss of milk production, hide
and slaughter value. In Portugal, available information limits the
occurrence of this disease to the Alentejo region. Broader
epidemiological data are absent and transmission pathways
remain largely unknown. With the purpose to contribute to the
knowledge on bovine besnoitiosis in Portugal, the aim of this
work was to evaluate the presence of this parasite in water, by
means of a PCR technique designed to detect B. besnoiti DNA
in concentrated water samples. We tested 81 water samples concentrated
by filtration from surface and groundwater captations,
water treatment plants and water reservoirs. Two samples, both
collected from treated groundwater tested positive by PCR and
results were confirmed by sequencing of amplified products.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-92
Number of pages3
JournalRevista Portuguesa de Ciências Veterinárias
Issue number565-566
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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