Molecular characterization of the Fe-hydrogenase gene marker in Trichomonas gallinae isolated from birds in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Trichomonas gallinae causes avian oropharyngeal trichomonosis. This pathogen affects a large number of bird species and may cause substantial economic losses to the poultry industry. Al-Azizia poultry market in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is among the largest poultry markets in the Arabian Gulf. Birds traded in this market may be exposed to a variety of T. gallinae strains. Genetic diversity of T. gallinae among birds in the market was examined using Fe-hydrogenase gene sequences. These sequences were amplified by PCR for twenty-nine isolates of T. gallinae from four different avian species, including 21 feral pigeons, one common mynah, three chickens, and four turkeys. Sequence analysis showed ten variant gene sequences. Nine sequences comprise a new subtype, including A(KSAF1), C(KSAF1) and C(KSAF3) with 34.48% (n = 10), 6.90% (n = 2), 6.90% (n = 2) of the isolates, respectively. Analyses also showed an additional five new sequences (KSAF1.1., KSAF2, KSAF13, KSAF14, KSAF15), representing 17.24% of the isolates. Subtype II (KSAF) was found in four feral pigeons (13.80%). To our knowledge, this report is the first to describe genotypes of T. gallinae from pigeons in Saudi Arabia using Fe-hydrogenase gene sequences for subtyping. Subtype analysis infers the presence of multiple genotypes of T. gallinae in Saudi avian populations.