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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Cryptosporidiosis Associated with Emaciation and Proliferative Gastritis in a Laboratory South African Clawed Frog

Authors
item Green, Sherril - STANFORD UNIVERSITY
item Bouley, Donna - STANFORD UNIVERSITY
item Josling, Catherine - STANDORD UNIVERSITY
item Fayer, Ronald

Submitted to: Advances in Veterinary Science and Comparative Medicine
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 22, 2002
Publication Date: January 1, 2003
Citation: GREEN, S.L., BOULEY, D.M., JOSLING, C.A., FAYER, R. CRYPTOSPORIDIOSIS ASSOCIATED WITH EMACIATION AND PROLIFERATIVE GASTRITIS IN A LABORATORY SOUTH AFRICAN CLAWED FROG. ADVANCES IN VETERINARY SCIENCE AND COMPARATIVE MEDICINE. 2003. Vol. 53: 81-84.

Interpretive Summary: There are few reports of Cryptosporidium in amphibians. There is concern that if they harbor parasites infectious to humans and livestock the parasites might be transmitted by water. An emaciated female South African Clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) was euthanized due to chronic weight loss. At postmortem, there was no evidence of bacterial, fungal or viral disease, however, the histological findings indicated inflammation of the stomach gastritis and numerous Cryptosporidium stages throughout the intestinal tract. Cryptosporidium oocysts were present in the water taken from the aquarium housing the infected frog. However, the exact source of the oocysts could not be identified. Water samples from other frog aquaria in the facility did not contain Cryptosporidium oocysts. Some Cryptosporidium species are important zoonotic pathogens and to our knowledge, this is the first report of spontaneous disease related to Cryptosporidium infection in a laboratory-raised frog. Molecular studies are need to determine if the genotype of Cryptosporidium found in frogs corresponds to any found in humans or livestock.

Technical Abstract: A 2-year-old emaciated female South African Clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) was euthanized due to chronic weight loss. At postmortem, there was no evidence of bacterial, fungal or viral disease, however, the histological findings indicated a proliferative gastritis and the presence of numerous Cryptosporidium stages throughout the intestinal tract. Crytosporidium oocysts were present in the water taken from the aquarium housing the infected frog and were likely shed by the sick frog. However, the exact source of the oocysts could not be identified. Water samples from other frog aquaria in the facility did not contain Cryptosporidium oocysts. Some Cryptosporidium species are important zoonotic pathogens and to our knowledge, this is the first report of spontaneous disease related to Cryptosporidium infection in a laboratory Xenopus laevis.

Last Modified: 12/20/2014