BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0384.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: Cryptosporidium; dairy cattle; gp60; genotyping; 18S rRNA; occurrence; Cyprus
Online: 25 January 2022 (14:06:37 CET)
Cryptosporidium parvum is one of the major causes of neonatal calf diarrhoea resulting in reduced farm productivity and compromised animal welfare worldwide. Livestock act as a major reservoir of this parasite, which can be transmitted to humans directly and/or indirectly, posing a public health risk. Research reports on Cryptosporidium prevalence from the east Mediterranean region are scarce with even less originating from Cyprus. This study is the first to explore occurrence of Cryptosporidium spp. in young dairy calves on the island. A total of 242 faecal samples were collected from 10 dairy cattle farms in Cyprus, all of which were screened for Cryptosporidium spp. using nested-PCR amplification targeting the small subunit of the ribosomal RNA (18S rRNA) gene. The 60 kDa glycoprotein (gp60) gene was also sequenced for the samples identified as C. parvum positive to determine the subtypes present. Occurrence of Cryptosporidium was 43.8% (106/242) with at least one positive isolate in each farm sampled. Prevalence per farm ranged from 20¬‒64%, while C. bovis, C. ryanae and C. parvum were the only species identified. Amongst those, the latter was the predominant species, representing 51.8% of all positive samples. Four zoonotic subtypes were identified – IIaA14G1R1, IIaA15G1R1, IIaA15G2R1 and IIaA18G2R1. IIaA14G1R1 was the most abundant; representing 48.2% of all C. parvum positive samples and was also the most widespread. This is the first report of zoonotic subtypes of C. parvum circulating in Cyprus. These results highlight the need for further research into the parasite focusing on its diversity, prevalence, host-range and transmission dynamics on the island.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0273.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: 18S; Cryptosporidium; dairy cattle; gp60; genotyping; prevalence
Online: 19 October 2021 (11:54:33 CEST)
Cryptosporidium is comprised an apicomplexan parasitic protist, which infects a wide range of hosts, causing cryptosporidiosis. In cattle farms, the incidence of cryptosporidiosis results in high mortality in calves leading to considerable economic loss in the livestock industry. Infected animals may also act as a major reservoir of Cryptosporidium spp., in particular C. parvum, the most common cause of cryptosporidiosis in calves. This poses a significant risk to other farms via breeding centres, to trading of livestock and to human health. This study, funded by the Interreg-2-seas programme, is a part of a global project aimed at strategies to tackle cryptosporidiosis. To reach this target, it was essential to determine whether prevalence was dependent on the studied countries or if the issue was borderless. Indeed, C. parvum occurrence was assessed across dairy farms in certain regions of Belgium, France and the Netherlands. At the same time, the animal-to-animal transmission of the circulating C. parvum subtypes was studied. To accomplish this, 1084 faecal samples, corresponding to 57 dairy-farms from all three countries, were analysed. Well-established protocols amplifying the 18S rDNA and gp60 genes fragments, followed by DNA sequencing, were used for the detection and subtyping C. parvum; the DNA sequences obtained were further characterised using a combination of bioinformatics and phylogenetics methods. Our results show 25.7%, 24.9% and 20.8% prevalence of Cryptosporidium spp. in Belgium, France and the Netherlands respectively. Overall, 93% of the farms were Cryptosporidium positive. The gp60 subtyping demonstrated a significant number of the C. parvum positives belonged to the IIa allelic family, which has been also detected in humans. Consequently, this study highlights how widespread is C. parvum in dairy farms and endorses cattle as a major carrier of zoonotic C. parvum subtypes, which subsequently pose a significant threat to human health.