Molecular identification of Giardia and Cryptosporidium from dogs and cats

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to diagnose the presence of Giardia cysts and Cryptosporidium oocysts in household animals using nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequence analysis. One hundred faecal samples obtained from 81 dogs and 19 cats were investigated. The Cryptosporidium genotypes were determined by sequencing a fragment of the small subunit (SSU) rRNA gene, while the Giardia Assemblages were determined through analysis of the glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) locus. Isolates from five dogs and two cats were positive by PCR for the presence of Giardia, and their sequences matched the zoonotic Assemblage A of Giardia. Cryptosporidium spp. isolated from one dog and one cat were both found to be C. parvum. One dog isolate harboured a mixed infection of C. parvum and Giardia Assemblage A. These findings support the growing evidence that household animals are potential reservoirs of the zoonotic pathogens Giardia spp. and Cryptosporidium spp. for infections in humans.

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