SUMMARY

Trichomonas gallinae, a single-celled protozoan parasite, is a causative agent of the disease trichomonosis, which is distributed worldwide and has recently been highlighted as a pandemic threat to several wild bird species. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and genotypic diversity of T. gallinae in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. For this purpose, 273 oral swab samples from different bird species (feral pigeon Columba livia, common mynah Acridotheres tristis, chicken Gallus gallus domesticus, turkey Meleagris gallopavo, and ducks Anatidae) were collected and tested for T. gallinae infection with InPouch™ TV culture kits. The results showed that the overall prevalence of T. gallinae in these samples was 26.4% (n = 72). The PCRs were used to detect the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of T. gallinae, and the results of the sequence analysis indicated genetic variation. Among 48 sequences, we found 15 different ribotypes, of which 12 were novel. Three had been previously described as ribotypes A, C, and II. To our knowledge, this study demonstrated the presence of T. gallinae strain diversity in Saudi Arabian birds for the first time and revealed that ribotypes A and C are predominant among Riyadh birds.

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