Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 12, 2004
Publication Date: June 1, 2005
Citation: Santin, M., Dixon, B., Fayer, R. 2005. Genetic characterization of cryptosporidium isolates from ringed seals (Phoca hispida) in northern Quebec, Canada. Journal of Parasitology. 91(3):712-716.
Interpretive Summary: Intestinal contents from seals collected in far northern Quebec were shipped by Health Canada to the USDA, ARS laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland where they were examined for the presence of the protozoan parasite Cryptosporidium using molecular methods developed by this laboratory. Three genetic types of Cryptosporidium were identified- 2 unique to seals that have never been identified from other animals, and C. muris, a species known to infect rodents and humans. Finding of the latter species is of public health concern for Inuit people because they rely on seal meat and viscera (uncooked) for food.
This study reports the molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium isolates identified from intestinal contents of ringed seals (Phoca hispida) from Nunavik (Quebec, Canada). Cryptosporidium fragments of 18S rRNA, HSP-70, and actin loci were amplified by PCR from seal intestinal contents. PCR positive specimens were sequenced and compared with other Cryptosporidium species and genotypes reported previously. Sequence analysis showed the presence of C. muris and also two novel genotypes in ringed seals.