JOURNAL ARTICLE

The regional sero-epidemiology of rhinosporidiosis in Sri Lankan humans and animals

T Sudasinghe, R P V J Rajapakse, N A N D Perera, P V R Kumarasiri, N B Eriyagama, S N Arseculeratne
Acta Tropica 2011, 120 (1-2): 72-81
21801708
No data is available in the world literature on serum anti-rhinosporidial antibody levels in animals, and as far as we aware this is the first report. Although rhinosporidiosis in farm and domestic animals has been widely reported from other countries, rhinosporidiosis in animals has not been reported in Sri Lanka, though this country has the highest world-wide prevalence of human rhinosporidiosis on a unit-population basis. Serum IgG titres in 6 species of Sri Lankan animals (buffalo, cat, cattle, dog, goat, horse; total 291) were assayed by the Immuno blot (dot-ELISA) method on nitrocellulose paper and were compared with serum IgG titres in normal Sri Lankan human subjects (total 211) in different geographical areas, and in human Sri Lankan patients with rhinosporidiosis as reference values (total 36). Sensitization to rhinosporidial antigen(s) was detected in all 6 species of animals and the highest titres (1/3200) were found in cats, and free-grazing horses. Cattle showed higher levels of antibody than buffaloes. The titres in these animals are compared with world reports on overt rhinosporidiosis in these species, and with titres in normal Sri Lankan humans. Human, but not animal titres showed variations compatible with the regional prevalence of rhinosporidiosis. The variations in titres in animals especially horses, were probably more related to their mode of feeding, while in humans the titres in normal persons were probably related to the rhinosporidial-endemicity of their respective regions. No conclusions from sero-positivity in animals could be made regarding the absence of reports on rhinosporidiosis as an overt disease in these Sri Lankan animal species but the possibility of a genetically-determined insusceptibility to rhinosporidiosis in Sri Lanka, is considered. Rhinosporidium seeberi-specific PCR positive reactions were obtained with nasal scrapings from cattle that microscopically showed PAS+ bodies that were compatible with rhinosporidial sporangia. Sequence-analysis of the reactions products from five positive R. seeberi-specific PCR samples (four in this study and 1 in a previous study) gave results confirmatory of R. seeberi.

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