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A multiplex polymerase chain reaction assay to simultaneously distinguish Cryptosporidium species of veterinary and public health concern in cattle

Santín, Mónica, Zarlenga, Dante S.
Veterinary parasitology 2009 v.166 no.1-2 pp. 32
cattle, cattle diseases, Cryptosporidium parvum, Cryptosporidium bovis, Cryptosporidium andersoni, cryptosporidiosis, polymerase chain reaction, restriction fragment length polymorphism, disease diagnosis, genotype, sequence analysis, oocysts, public health, pathogen identification, nucleotide sequences, zoonoses, mixed infection, fecal egg count
Four species of Cryptosporidium are routinely found in cattle: Cryptosporidium parvum, Cryptosporidium bovis, Cryptosporidium ryanae, and Cryptosporidium andersoni. It is important to determine the species of Cryptosporidium in infected cattle because C. parvum is the only serious pathogen for humans as well as cattle. Identification of Cryptosporidium species and genotypes currently relies on molecular methods such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) followed by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) or gene sequencing. Incorporation of these techniques in a routine veterinary diagnostic laboratory is cost prohibitive. As such, their applications are limited primarily to research and a few public health laboratories. To overcome this problem, a multiplex PCR assay was developed for simultaneously detecting the 4 species of Cryptosporidium that commonly infect cattle. This assay specifically identifies Cryptosporidium oocysts present in cattle feces, improves the detection of mixed infections, reduces the time and cost relative to current sequencing methods, and further demonstrates the shortcomings of sequencing as the definitive method for identification when analyzing samples containing mixed infections.