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Multiple Cryptosporidium genotypes detected in wild black rats (Rattus rattus) from northern Australia

Paparini, A.ORCID: 0000-0002-1105-5184, Jackson, B.ORCID: 0000-0002-8622-8035, Ward, S., Young, S. and Ryan, U.M.ORCID: 0000-0003-2710-9324 (2012) Multiple Cryptosporidium genotypes detected in wild black rats (Rattus rattus) from northern Australia. Experimental Parasitology, 131 (4). pp. 404-412.

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As part of a broader investigation into the potential role of black rats (Rattus rattus) as disease vectors into native small mammal populations of northern Australia, blood and faecal samples from wild black rats were screened by molecular methods, for piroplasms (Babesia and Theileria), trypanosomes and the enteric parasite Cryptosporidium. While piroplasms and trypanosomes were not detected in the blood of these animals, the overall prevalence of Cryptosporidium 18S rDNA in faecal samples was 8.2% (7/85). Co-occurrence of multiple genotypes was observed in 57.1% of the infected individuals (4/7); cloning and re–sequencing resulted in 14 sequences which broadly grouped with Cryptosporidium sp. rat–genotypes II and III. A novel rat–derived Cryptosporidium sp. genotype at the actin locus was also obtained from 5 animals. The relatively low infection rate detected, and the epidemiological data on cryptosporidiosis, do not conclusively support a current threat to native Australian mammals from black rats carrying Cryptosporidium. However, this observation is based on sampling limited isolates, in limited regions. Further studies, also including sampling of native mammals, are required on larger sample sizes and from wider geographic areas, to determine the significance of these findings, including the public health importance of Cryptosporidium spp. from rodents.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Academic Press
Copyright: © 2012 Elsevier Inc
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