Original Research

Cryptosporidium genotypes in children and calves living at the wildlife or livestock interface of the Kruger National Park, South Africa

Nada Abu Samra, Ferran Jori, Simone M. Cacciò, John Frean, Bhavani Poonsamy, Peter N. Thompson
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 83, No 1 | a1024 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v83i1.1024 | © 2016 Nada Abu Samra, Ferran Jori, Simone M. Cacciò, John Frean, Bhavani Poonsamy, Peter N. Thompson | This work is licensed under CC Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0
Submitted: 30 July 2015 | Published: 20 May 2016

About the author(s)

Nada Abu Samra, Department of Production Animal Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Ferran Jori, French Research Institute for Agricultural Development (CIRAD), Integrated Animal Risk Management Unit (UPR AGIRs), Campus International de Baillarguet, France; Department of Animal Science and Production, Botswana College of Agriculture, Botswana
Simone M. Cacciò, Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immunomediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Italy
John Frean, Centre for Opportunistic, Tropical and Hospital Infections, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, South Africa; Research Institute for Malaria, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Bhavani Poonsamy, Centre for Opportunistic, Tropical and Hospital Infections, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, South Africa
Peter N. Thompson, Department of Production Animal Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Cryptosporidium infection is one of the most common causes of parasitic diarrhoea worldwide in cattle and humans. In developing countries, human cryptosporidiosis is most prevalent during early childhood and links between zoonotic infection and animal related activities have been demonstrated. This study investigated the prevalence and species/genotype distribution of Cryptosporidium among children (< 5 years) and calves (< 6 months) living in a rural farming area adjacent to the Kruger National Park in South Africa, where interactions between humans and wild and domestic animals are known to occur. Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected in 8/143 stool samples of children recruited within the hospital system (5.6%; 95% CI 2.4%, 10.7%) and in 2/352 faecal samples of calves (0.6%; 95% CI 0.1%, 2.0%) using the modified Ziehl–Neelsen (MZN) staining technique. Microscopy positive samples from children were further analysed by PCR targeting the 18S rRNA gene and identified as Cryptosporidium hominis (3/4) and Cryptosporidium meleagridis (1/4). Regardless of the microscopy outcome, randomly selected samples (n = 36) from calves 0–4 months of age were amplified and sequenced at the 18S rRNA gene using nested PCR. Two calves tested positive (5.6%; 95% CI 1.7%, 18.7%), and revealed the presence of Cryptosporidium parvum and Cryptosporidium bovis. The detection of only two zoonotic species (C. parvum in one calf and C. meleagridis in one child) suggests that zoonotic cryptosporidiosis is not currently widespread in our study area; however, the potential exists for amplification of transmission in an immunocompromised population.

Keywords: Cryptosporidium; children; calves; South Africa; genotyping; GP60 subtyping


Keywords

Cryptosporidium; children; calves; South Africa; genotyping; GP60 subtyping

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