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Sheep may not be an important zoonotic reservoir for Cryptosporidium and Giardia parasites

Ryan, U.M.ORCID: 0000-0003-2710-9324, Bath, C.ORCID: 0000-0001-9427-1941, Robertson, I.ORCID: 0000-0002-4255-4752, Read, C., Elliot, A., McInnes, L., Traub, R.J. and Besier, B. (2005) Sheep may not be an important zoonotic reservoir for Cryptosporidium and Giardia parasites. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 71 (9). pp. 4992-4997.

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Little is known of the prevalence of Cryptosporidium and Giardia parasites in sheep and the genotypes that they harbor, although potentially sheep may contribute significantly to contamination of watersheds. In the present study, conducted in Western Australia, a total of 1,647 sheep fecal samples were screened for the presence of Cryptosporidium and Giardia spp. using microscopy, and a subset (n = 500) were screened by PCR and genotyped. Analysis revealed that although both parasites were detected in a high proportion of samples by PCR (44% and 26% for Giardia and Cryptosporidium spp., respectively), with the exception of one Cryptosporidium hominis isolate, the majority of isolates genotyped are not commonly found in humans. These results suggest that the public health risk of sheep-derived Cryptosporidium and Giardia spp. in catchment areas and effluent may be overestimated and warrant further investigation.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
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