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Vet Parasitol. 2014 May 28;202(3-4):132-7. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2014.03.018. Epub 2014 Mar 24.

Detection and molecular characterization of Giardia and Cryptosporidium in common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) stranded along the Galician coast (Northwest Spain).

Author information

1
Laboratory of Parasitology, Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Santiago de Compostela, Campus Vida, 15782 Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain.
2
Laboratory of Parasitology, Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Santiago de Compostela, Campus Vida, 15782 Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain; Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immunomediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy. Electronic address: hipolito.gomez@usc.es.
3
CEMMA, Camiño do Ceán, 2, 36350 Nigrán, Pontevedra, Spain.
4
Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immunomediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy.

Abstract

The ubiquitous protozoan parasites Giardia and Cryptosporidium have been detected from many species of captive and free-living wildlife, representing most mammalian orders. Twenty species of marine mammals have been reported to inhabit Galician waters and the region has one of the highest rates of stranding in Europe. Evidence from stranding, reported by-catches and sightings, suggests that the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) is the most abundant cetacean on the Galician coast (Northwest Spain). The objective of this study was to detect and molecularly characterize isolates of Giardia and Cryptosporidium obtained from common dolphins stranded in this area. Between 2005 and 2012, sections of large intestine from 133 common dolphins stranded along the Galician coast were collected by the personnel of the Galician Stranding Network (Coordinadora para o Estudo dos Mamíferos Mariños, CEMMA). Using direct immunofluorescence antibody test (IFAT) and PCR amplification and sequencing of the SSU-rDNA, β-giardin genes and the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region, Giardia and Cryptosporidium were detected in 8 (6.0%) and 12 samples (9.0%), respectively. In two samples, co-infection by both parasites was observed. The molecular characterization revealed the presence of Giardia duodenalis assemblages A (genotypes A1 and A2) and B and Cryptosporidium parvum in these samples. This constitutes the first study in which the presence of Giardia and Cryptosporidium has been investigated in common dolphins on the European Atlantic coast, and it is also the first report of C. parvum in this host. Our findings indicate that these animals could act as reservoir of these waterborne parasites or could be victims of the contamination originated by anthropogenic activities.

KEYWORDS:

Cryptosporidium; Delphinus delphis; Galician coast (Northwest Spain); Giardia; Molecular characterization

PMID:
24704342
DOI:
10.1016/j.vetpar.2014.03.018
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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