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Vet Parasitol. 2007 Mar 15;144(1-2):1-9. Epub 2006 Nov 13.

Wide geographic distribution of Cryptosporidium bovis and the deer-like genotype in bovines.

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Division of Parasitic Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA.


Recent studies in the United States reported that approximately 85% of pre-weaned dairy calves were infected with zoonotic Cryptosporidium parvum, whereas only 1-2% of post-weaned calves and 1-2-year-old heifers were infected with this species. Cryptosporidium bovis and Cryptosporidium deer-like genotype were much more prevalent in the post-weaned animals. It is not clear whether the same infection pattern also occurs in other geographic areas. In this study, to determine whether the same Cryptosporidium infection pattern was present in other geographic areas, we genotyped Cryptosporidium specimens collected from two farms in China and India, using specimens from farms in Georgia, USA for comparison. C. bovis was the most common species found in pre- and post-weaned calves in all three areas. In Georgia, the deer-like genotype was found frequently in pre- and post-weaned calves and Cryptosporidium andersoni was found in one post-weaned calf. Both C. bovis and the deer-like genotype were found in the few milking cows examined in Georgia. There were no differences in the small subunit rRNA gene sequences obtained from C. bovis or deer-like genotype among the three areas. One adult yak in China, however, was infected with a species similar to C. bovis, with only three nucleotide mutations in the target gene. All four common bovine Cryptosporidium spp. were differentiated from each other by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of PCR products with enzymes SspI and MboII. Thus, both C. bovis and the deer-like genotype are found in all age groups of cattle in diverse geographic areas and host adaptation of C. bovis might have occurred in yaks.

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