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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #346331

Research Project: Zoonotic Parasites Affecting Food Animals, Food Safety, and Public Health

Location: Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory

Title: Molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium spp. in poultry from Brazil

Author
item Rodrigues Da Cunha, Maria - US Department Of Agriculture (USDA)
item Cury, Marcia - Universidade Federal De Minas Gerais
item Santin-duran, Monica

Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/18/2018
Publication Date: 3/21/2018
Citation: Rodrigues Da Cunha, M.J., Cury, M.C., Santin-Duran, M. 2018. Molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium spp. in poultry from Brazil. Veterinary Parasitology. 118:331-335. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2018.03.010.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2018.03.010

Interpretive Summary: Cryptosporidium is a parasite of medical and veterinary concern that that is transmitted through contaminated water and food to humans resulting primarily in intestinal infections characterized by diarrheal disease. Infections in birds are mainly caused by three species C. meleagridis, C. baileyi, and C. galli. C. meleagridis is the third most common cause of cryptosporidiosis in immunocompromised and immunocompetent humans. However, very little is known of the prevalence and species of these parasites in poultry even thought they might be a source of environmental contamination leading to infection of other animals and humans. The present study examined feces from 155 different poultry species, chicken, turkey, ostrich, helmeted guinea fowl, quail, pheasant, and emu, collected at local markets in Uberlândia and Belo Horizonte in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Twenty-three (14.8%) birds were found positive (20 chickens, 2 quails, and 1 turkey). This constitutes the first report of Cryptosporidium in turkeys from Brazil. Nucleotide sequence analysis identified C. meleagridis in chickens, a turkey, and a quail, and C. baileyi in chickens and a quail. This is the first report of C. meleagridis in turkeys and quails from Brazil. Using the 60-kDa glycoprotein (gp60) gene, three subtype families were identified, IIIa, IIIb and IIIg. Within subtype family IIIg, four subtypes were identified in chickens, two novel subtypes (IIIgA25G3R1 and IIIgA21G3R1) and two previously reported subtypes (IIIgA22G3R1 and IIIgA24G2R1). Within subtype family IIb two subtypes were identified, IIIbA24G1R1 in a chicken and IIIbA23G1R1 in a quail. A novel subtype within subtype family IIIa was identified (IIIaA22G3R1) in a turkey. The finding of subtypes previously identified in humans (IIIgA22G3R1, IIIbA24G1R1 and IIIbA23G1R1) indicates that they can be potentially zoonotic. Further subtyping studies that clarify genetic diversity of C. meleagridis are required for a better understanding of host specificity, source of infection, and transmission dynamics of C. meleagridis. This information will be of interest to other scientists, veterinarians and public health agencies.

Technical Abstract: Cryptosporidiosis is an important zoonotic disease caused by the protozoa Cryptosporidium. Infections in birds are mainly caused by three species C. meleagridis, C. baileyi, and C. galli. C. meleagridis is the third most common cause of cryptosporidiosis in immunocompromised and immunocompetent humans and it is the only Cryptosporidium species known to infect both birds and mammals. The present study examined feces from 155 different poultry species, chicken, turkey, ostrich, helmeted guinea fowl, quail, pheasant, and emu, collected at 17 local markets in Uberlândia and Belo Horizonte in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Twenty-three (14.8%) birds were found positive by PCR of the SSU rRNA gene (20 chickens, 2 quails, and 1 turkey). This constitutes the first report of Cryptosporidium in turkeys from Brazil. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the SSU-RNA gene identified C. meleagridis in chickens, a turkey, and a quail, and C. baileyi in chickens and a quail. This is the first report of C. meleagridis in turkeys and quails from Brazil. Using the 60-kDa glycoprotein (gp60) gene, three subtype families were identified, IIIa, IIIb and IIIg. Within subtype family IIIg, four subtypes were identified in chickens, two novel subtypes (IIIgA25G3R1 and IIIgA21G3R1) and two previously reported subtypes (IIIgA22G3R1 and IIIgA24G2R1). Within subtype family IIb two subtypes were identified, IIIbA24G1R1 in a chicken and IIIbA23G1R1 in a quail.A novel subtype within subtype family IIIa was identified (IIIaA22G3R1) in a turkey. The finding of subtypes previously identified in humans (IIIgA22G3R1, IIIbA24G1R1 and IIIbA23G1R1) indicates that they can be potentially zoonotic. Further subtyping studies that clarify genetic diversity of C. meleagridis are required for a better understanding of host specificity, source of infection, and transmission dynamics of C. meleagridis.