Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, P. J. Šafárik University, Košice, Slovak Republic University of Veterinary Medicine, Košice, Slovak Republic II Clinic of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Košice, Slovak Republic
Encephalitozoon cuniculi is one of the mamalian microsporidian pathogens that can affect a number of different species of animals as well as humans. The presence of specific serum antibodies to Encephalitozoon cuniculi was studied in a group of animals and humans from Eastern Slovakia by the indirect immunofluorescence of antibodies (IFA). 456 people, 571 rabbits, 457 mice, 193 dogs, 72 cats, and 59 sheep were examined. Specific anti-E. cuniculi antibodies were found in 26 out of 456 human sera examined (5.7%). The highest occurrence of antimicrosporidial antibodies was found in the group of immunodeficiency patients – 37.5%. In the group of animals, the highest positivity was observed in rabbits – 41.7%, and in dogs – 37.8. The relative high prevalence, especially in rabbits and dogs as potential sources of microsporidial infection for humans, indicates the importance of performing the screening examinations in animals with aim of reducing or halting the spread of this disease.