Isolates of Cryptosporidium were collected from 3 species of woodland and field rodents (Clethrionomys glareolus, Microtus arvalis, and Apodemus flavicollis) and were characterized by polymerase chain reaction amplification and sequencing of fragments of the oocyst wall protein (COWP) gene and of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene. Sequence analysis of these markers revealed that the animals were infected with C. parvum, and that the genotype involved was almost identical to the mouse genotype previously described from Mus musculus. Thus, small rodents should be considered as an important reservoir of C. parvum genotypes closely related to the zoonotic genotype 2 and potentially hazardous to humans.

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