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Distribution of Cryptosporidium parvum subtypes in calves in Germany

Broglia, A., Reckinger, S., Cacció, S.M., Nöckler, K.
Veterinary parasitology 2008 v.154 no.1-2 pp. 8-13
Cryptosporidium parvum, oocysts, alleles, microbial genetics, ribosomal DNA, strain differences, feces, disease transmission, cryptosporidiosis, nucleotide sequences, genetic variation, calves, genetic polymorphism, glycoproteins, Germany
Cryptosporidium DNA was extracted from 134 faecal specimens from pre-weaned calves from different German Federal States (age range, 3-15 days old), which tested positive for oocysts by microscopic analysis. The 18S rDNA gene and the oocyst wall protein gene (COWP) were used as targets for PCR and RFLP techniques. Cryptosporidium species were identified by using SspI, MboII and RsaI endonucleases for the digestion of 18S rDNA and COWP amplified fragments, respectively. In all samples, restriction patterns corresponding to Cryptosporidium parvum were identified, which is in agreement with abundant literature data indicating C. parvum as the most common species in pre-weaned calves. In order to estimate the genetic heterogeneity among C. parvum calf isolates, 53 samples chosen to represent different German Federal States were successfully subtyped by sequence analysis of the highly polymorphic 60-kDa glycoprotein gene. All isolates belonged to the allele IIa (with seven subtypes), with the exception of one isolate that belonged to the allele IId. Moreover, three novel subtypes of the allele family IIa have been found. This study confirms the utility of genotyping and subtyping tools in characterizing the transmission of Cryptosporidium spp. This is the first molecular epidemiological report about subtyping of Cryptosporidium bovine isolates in Germany.