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Small ruminants and zoonotic cryptosporidiosis

Guo, Y., Li, N., Ryan, U.ORCID: 0000-0003-2710-9324, Feng, Y. and Xiao, L. (2021) Small ruminants and zoonotic cryptosporidiosis. Parasitology Research .

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Sheep and goats are commonly infected with three Cryptosporidium species, including Cryptosporidium parvum, Cryptosporidium ubiquitum, and Cryptosporidium xiaoi, which differ from each in prevalence, geographic distribution, and public health importance. While C. parvum appears to be a dominant species in small ruminants in European countries, its occurrence in most African, Asian, and American countries appear to be limited. As a result, zoonotic infections due to contact with lambs and goat kids are common in European countries, leading to frequent reports of outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis on petting farms. In contrast, C. xiaoi is the dominant species elsewhere, and mostly does not infect humans. While C. ubiquitum is another zoonotic species, it occurs in sheep and goats at much lower frequency. Host adaptation appears to be present in both C. parvum and C. ubiquitum, consisting of several subtype families with different host preference. The host-adapted nature of C. parvum and C. ubiquitum has allowed the use of subtyping tools in tracking infection sources. This has led to the identification of geographic differences in the importance of small ruminants in epidemiology of human cryptosporidiosis. These tools have also been used effectively in linking zoonotic transmission of C. parvum between outbreak cases and the suspected animals. Further studies should be directly elucidating the reasons for differences in the distribution and public health importance of major Cryptosporidium species in sheep and goats.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Harry Butler Institute
Vector and Waterborne Pathogens Research Group
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Copyright: © 2021 Springer Nature Switzerland AG.
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