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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2004 Jan;70(1):452-8.

Phylogenetic analysis of the hypervariable region of the 18S rRNA gene of Cryptosporidium oocysts in feces of Canada geese (Branta canadensis): evidence for five novel genotypes.

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


To assess genetic diversity in Cryptosporidium oocysts from Canada geese, 161 fecal samples from Canada geese in the United States were analyzed. Eleven (6.8%) were positive for Cryptosporidium spp. following nested PCR amplification of the hypervariable region of the 18S rRNA gene. Nine PCR products from geese were cloned and sequenced, and all nine diverged from previously reported Cryptosporidium 18S rRNA gene sequences. Five sequences were very similar or identical to each other but genetically distinct from that of Cryptosporidium baileyi; two were most closely related to, but genetically distinct from, the first five; and two were distinct from any other sequence analyzed. One additional sequence in the hypervariable region of the 18S rRNA gene isolated from a cormorant was identical to that of C. baileyi. Phylogenetic analysis provided evidence for new genotypes of Cryptosporidium species in Canada geese. Results of this study suggest that the taxonomy of Cryptosporidium species in geese is complex and that a more complete understanding of genetic diversity among these parasites will facilitate our understanding of oocyst sources and species in the environment.

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