2023(4)      October - December, 2023

The effects of Cryptosporidium infection on gut fungi and enzyme abundance in Sus domesticus

Wang Lei1,3, Lu Sijia1, Zou Wen1, Sun Na2, Muhammad Usman Saleem5, Mudassar Nazar6, Mohammad Farooque Hassan7, Farid Shokry Ataya8, Kong Qinghui4, Li Kun1*

1Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine & MOE Joint International Research Laboratory of Animal Health and Food Safety, College of Veterinary Medicine, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, China

2Shanxi key lab. for modernization of TCVM, College of Veterinary Medicine, Shanxi Agricultural University, Taigu 030801, Shanxi, China

3College of Veterinary Medicine, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China

4Key Laboratory of Clinical Veterinary Medicine in Tibet, Tibet Agriculture and Animal Husbandry College, Linzhi, Tibet, China

5Department of Biosciences, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan

6University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Sub-Campus Burewala 61010, Pakistan

7Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Sakrand, Sindh, Pakistan

8Department of Biochemistry, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia


Pigs are known to be natural hosts of Cryptosporidiosis, which poses a serious threat to public health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Cryptosporidiosis is the major cause of severe diarrhea which causing death in infants. Many researchers suggest that gut fungi have an indispensable function in host metabolism and immunity. However, few studies have been performed to understand how Cryptosporidium infection induces alterations in the intestinal fungal communities of Tibetan pigs. Therefore, fecal samples from Cryptosporidium infected and Healthy Tibetan pigs were examined by internal transcribed spacing (ITS) gene amplification sequencing. Results showed that a total of 2 phyla, 5 classes, 9 orders, 10 family, 13 genera of fungi were detected from both the H (Healthy Tibetan pigs) and INF (Cryptosporidium infection pigs) groups. The results manifested that proportion and profile of the total fungal population obviously changed under the Cryptosporidium infection, marked by a reduction in the abundance of beneficial fungi, i.e., Leotiomycetes (p < 0.05), Aspergillaceae (p < 0.05), Penicillium (p < 0.05), Xenoacremonium (p < 0.05) and Eurotiales (p < 0.05) and an increase in the abundance of disease-causing fungi that threaten health, i.e. Colletotrichum (p < 0.05) and Clarireedia (p < 0.05). In addition to these changes, some enzymes including Arabinose-5-phosphate isomerase, Quercetin 3-0-methyltransferase and Amylosucrase were found to be significantly altered (p < 0.01) after Cryptosporidium infection using fungal function prediction analysis. This study also focused on the Cryptosporidium infection in Tibetan pigs in terms of gut fungal diversity, composition, and the abundance of enzyme. It is providing a better understanding of Cryptosporidium infection in Tibetan pigs and insights for further development of therapeutics against Cryptosporidium from the gut fungal perspective.

Keywords: Sus domesticus, Tibetan pig, Cryptosporidium, Gut fungi, Enzyme, Microbiota

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