Abstract

Bovine cryptosporidiosis constitutes a threat to the livestock industry and public health worldwide. In the present study we investigated dairy cattle of all ages in northeast China for the prevalence and genetic traits of Cryptosporidium. Nested polymerase chain reaction of the small subunit rRNA gene was used to identify Cryptosporidium species or genotype. The parasite was detected in 130 of 537 (24.2%) animals sampled from the cities of Harbin (35.2%, 69/196) and Qiqihar (32.1%, 61/190). Cryptosporidium parvum (87/130) was identified as the dominant species by sequence analysis followed by Cryptosporidium bovis (28/130), Cryptosporidium ryanae (5/130), Cryptosporidium andersoni (2/130), Cryptosporidium suis-like genotype (2/130), and mixed C. ryanae/C. bovis (1/130). Subtyping of C. parvum isolates was based on the DNA polymorphisms of the 60-kDa glycoprotein gene. Subtyping of the C. parvum isolates recognized subtypes IIdA15G1 (24/87) in Harbin and IIdA20G1 (48/87) in Qiqihar. A diversity of Cryptosporidium species/genotype and subtypes was identified in cattle from northeast China. Widespread occurrence of human-pathogenic Cryptosporidium species and subtypes is of public health significance. This is the first study reporting C. parvum subtype IIdA20G1 in China. The findings improve the epidemiological knowledge of bovine cryptosporidiosis in China, highlighting the importance of ongoing Cryptosporidium surveillance.

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