Cryptosporidium is a widespread apicomplexan protozoan of major zoonotic importance, characterized by a wide host range, and with relevant economic implications and potential negative effects on livestock and wildlife population dynamics. Considering the recent strong demographic increase of alpine ungulates, in this study, carried out in the Italian Northwestern Alps, we investigated the occurrence of Cryptosporidium spp. in these species and their potential involvement in environmental contamination with Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts. The immune-enzymatic approach revealed a Cryptosporidium prevalence of 1.7% (5/293), 0.5% (1/196) and 3.4% (4/119) in alpine chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra), red deer (Cervus elaphus) and roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), respectively. Positive samples were subjected to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification for the COWP and gp60 genes. The presence of Cryptosporidium was confirmed in one chamois and four roe deer. Sequences obtained clustered within Cryptosporidium ubiquitum, currently recognized as an emerging zoonotic species. This finding represents the first detection of zoonotic C. ubiquitum in chamois and in the Alpine environment. Despite the low observed prevalences, environmental contamination by oocysts could play a role as a potential source of infections for humans and livestock.

Detection of Zoonotic Cryptosporidium ubiquitum in Alpine Wild Ruminants

Marangi, Marianna
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Giangaspero, Annunziata
Writing – Review & Editing
;
2021

Abstract

Cryptosporidium is a widespread apicomplexan protozoan of major zoonotic importance, characterized by a wide host range, and with relevant economic implications and potential negative effects on livestock and wildlife population dynamics. Considering the recent strong demographic increase of alpine ungulates, in this study, carried out in the Italian Northwestern Alps, we investigated the occurrence of Cryptosporidium spp. in these species and their potential involvement in environmental contamination with Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts. The immune-enzymatic approach revealed a Cryptosporidium prevalence of 1.7% (5/293), 0.5% (1/196) and 3.4% (4/119) in alpine chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra), red deer (Cervus elaphus) and roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), respectively. Positive samples were subjected to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification for the COWP and gp60 genes. The presence of Cryptosporidium was confirmed in one chamois and four roe deer. Sequences obtained clustered within Cryptosporidium ubiquitum, currently recognized as an emerging zoonotic species. This finding represents the first detection of zoonotic C. ubiquitum in chamois and in the Alpine environment. Despite the low observed prevalences, environmental contamination by oocysts could play a role as a potential source of infections for humans and livestock.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11369/401919
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 0
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact