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J Parasitol. 2005 Jun;91(3):624-9.

Cryptosporidium bovis n. sp. (Apicomplexa: Cryptosporidiidae) in cattle (Bos taurus).

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Environmental Microbial Safety Laboratory, Animal and Natural Resources Institute Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Maryland 20705, USA.


A new species of Cryptosporidium, C. bovis, is described. Oocysts of C. bovis, previously identified as Cryptosporidium genotype Bovine B (GenBank AY120911), are morphologically indistinguishable from those of C. parvum. They are excreted fully sporulated and contain 4 sporozoites, but lack sporocysts. Oocysts measure 4.76-5.35 microm (mean = 4.89 microm) x 4.17-4.76 microm (mean = 4.63 microm), with a length-to-width ratio of 1.06 (n = 50). Oocysts were not infectious for neonatal BALB/ c mice, but were infectious for 2 calves that were previously infected with C. parvum. Oocysts were not infectious for 2 experimentally exposed lambs less than 1 wk of age and were not detected in 42 lambs 2-3 mo of age, but were detected in a 2-wk-old lamb. In an earlier study, 79 of 840 calves on 14 dairy farms in 7 states were found infected with the new species. Most calves were 2-7 mo of age and none exhibited signs of diarrhea. This new species has been found in 10 of 162 calves aged 9 to 11 mo on a beef farm in Maryland. Fragments of the 18S rDNA, HSP-70, and actin genes were amplified by PCR, and purified PCR products were sequenced. Multilocus analysis of the 3 unlinked loci demonstrated the new species to be distinct from C. parvum and also demonstrated a lack of recombination, providing further evidence of species status. Based on these biological and molecular data, we consider this highly prevalent Cryptosporidium that infects primarily postweaned calves to be a new species and propose the name Cryptosporidium bovis n. sp. for this parasite.

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