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Vet Parasitol. 2012 Jul 6;187(3-4):534-7. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2012.02.002. Epub 2012 Feb 9.

Cryptosporidium spp. in quails (Coturnix coturnix japonica) in Henan, China: molecular characterization and public health significance.

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College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou 450002, PR China.


The prevalence of Cryptosporidium spp. was investigated in scale quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) farms in Henan Province, China between September 2006 and August 2007. One thousand eight hundred and eighteen fecal samples from 47 quail farms in five areas were collected for the examination of Cryptosporidium oocysts. The overall prevalence of Cryptosporidium was 13.1% (95% CI 13.1±1.6%) (29 of 47 farms), with 72-100-day-old quails having the highest prevalence (23.6%, 95% CI 23.6±2.6%) (χ(2)=64.91; ρ<0.01). The highest prevalence was observed in autumn (21.8%, 95% CI 21.8±3.1%) and the lowest in winter (χ(2)=74.83; ρ<0.01). Two hundred and thirty-nine Cryptosporidium-positive samples were analyzed by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of the small subunit (SSU) rRNA gene, and 42 were further analyzed by DNA sequencing of the PCR products. Two Cryptosporidium species were identified, Cryptosporidium baileyi in 237 birds on 29 farms, and potentially zoonotic Cryptosporidium meleagridis in only two birds on two farms. These findings may suggest that quails are not a major source of zoonotic Cryptosporidium in the study area.

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