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Prevalence and genotyping identification of Cryptosporidium in adult ruminants in central Iran

Firoozi, Z., Sazmand, A., Zahedi, A.ORCID: 0000-0002-0165-3797, Astani, A., Fattahi-Bafghi, A., Kiani-Salmi, N., Ebrahimi, B., Dehghani-Tafti, A., Ryan, U.ORCID: 0000-0003-2710-9324 and Akrami-Mohajeri, F. (2019) Prevalence and genotyping identification of Cryptosporidium in adult ruminants in central Iran. Parasites & Vectors, 12 . Article number: 510.

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Apicomplexan parasites of the genus Cryptosporidium infect a wide range of animal species as well as humans. Cryptosporidium spp. can cause life threatening diarrhea especially in young animals, children, immunocompromised patients and malnourished individuals. Asymptomatic cryptosporidial infections in animals can also occur, making these animals potential reservoirs of infection.

In the present study, a molecular survey of Cryptosporidium spp. in ruminants that were slaughtered for human consumption in Yazd Province, located in central Iran was conducted. Faeces were collected per-rectum from 484 animals including 192 cattle, 192 sheep and 100 goats. DNA was extracted from all samples and screened for Cryptosporidium by PCR amplification of the 18S rRNA gene. Positives were Sanger sequenced and further subtyped by sequence analysis of the 60 kDa glycoprotein (gp60) locus.

In total, Cryptosporidium spp. were detected in 22 animals: C. andersoni and C. bovis in seven and two cattle faecal samples, respectively, C. ubiquitum in five sheep, and C. xiaoi in six sheep and two goat samples, respectively. To our knowledge, this study provides for the first time, molecular information concerning Cryptosporidium species infecting goats in Iran, and is also the first report of C. ubiquitum and C. xiaoi from ruminants in Iran.

The presence of potentially zoonotic species of Cryptosporidium in ruminants in this region may suggest that livestock could potentially contribute to human cryptosporidiosis, in particular among farmers and slaughterhouse workers, in the area. Further molecular studies on local human populations are required to more accurately understand the epidemiology and transmission dynamics of Cryptosporidium spp. in this region.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education
Publisher: BioMed Central
Copyright: © The Author(s) 2019.
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