Next Article in Journal
The Effect of Animal Welfare Training on the Knowledge and Attitudes of Abattoir Stakeholders in China
Next Article in Special Issue
Ventilation Modulation and Nanoparticle Deposition in Respiratory and Olfactory Regions of Rabbit Nose
Previous Article in Journal
Measuring Faecal Glucocorticoid Metabolites to Assess Adrenocortical Activity in Reindeer
Previous Article in Special Issue
Prophylactic and Therapeutic Efficacy of Prebiotic Supplementation against Intestinal Coccidiosis in Rabbits
Open AccessArticle

Immunohistochemical Detection of Encephalitozoon cuniculi in Ocular Structures of Immunocompetent Rabbits

1
Veterinary Research Institute, Hudcova 296/70, 621 00 Brno, Czech Republic
2
Jekl & Hauptman Veterinary Clinic, Mojmírovo nám. 3105/6a, 612 00 Brno, Czech Republic
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2019, 9(11), 988; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9110988
Received: 11 October 2019 / Revised: 14 November 2019 / Accepted: 14 November 2019 / Published: 18 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disease and Immunology of Rabbits)
Encephalitozoonosis is a common infectious disease widely spread among rabbits. Its causative agent, Encephalitozoon cuniculi, is considered to be transmissible to humans. In rabbits, clinical signs include discoordination, head tilt, excessive water intake, excessive urination and cataracts. This study investigates, for the first time, whether the E. cuniculi organism can be detected in ocular structures in healthy adult rabbits after experimental oral infection using immunohistochemistry—detection of the organism in the tissue using a specific staining method. In infected animals, E. cuniculi spores were detected in many ophthalmic structures (periocular connective tissue, sclera, cornea, choroidea, iris, retina and lens) as early as 2 weeks after infection. There were no signs of inflammatory lesions in any of the ocular tissues examined at 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks after infection. E. cuniculi was also detected in the lens of adult rabbits, which indicates that ways of lens infection other than intrauterine and haematogenic are possible. This information can help to understand E. cuniculi dissemination to various ocular tissues structures after oral infection.
Encephalitozoonosis is a common infectious disease widely spread among rabbits. Its causative agent, Encephalitozoon cuniculi, is considered as a zoonotic and emerging pathogen capable of infecting both immunocompetent and immunocompromised hosts, including humans. In rabbits, clinical signs include neurological, kidney and ocular disease. The aim of this study was to detect E. cuniculi in ocular structures in immunocompetent rabbits after experimental oral infection using immunohistochemistry. In infected animals, E. cuniculi spores were present in periocular connective tissue, sclera, cornea, choroidea, iris, retina and lens, as a round to ovoid organism reacting with a specific anti-E. cuniculi monoclonal antibody as early as 2 weeks after infection. There were no signs of inflammatory lesions in any of the ocular tissues examined at 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks after infection. In the present study, E. cuniculi was also detected in the lenses of adult rabbits, which indicates that ways of lens infection other than intrauterine and haematogenic are possible. View Full-Text
Keywords: Encephalitozoon cuniculi; lens; eye; oral infection; immunocompetent; rabbit; encephalitozoonosis; immunohistochemistry Encephalitozoon cuniculi; lens; eye; oral infection; immunocompetent; rabbit; encephalitozoonosis; immunohistochemistry
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

Jeklová, E.; Levá, L.; Kummer, V.; Jekl, V.; Faldyna, M. Immunohistochemical Detection of Encephalitozoon cuniculi in Ocular Structures of Immunocompetent Rabbits. Animals 2019, 9, 988.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop