First description of Cryptosporidium bovis in Japan and diagnosis and genotyping of Cryptosporidium spp. in diarrheic pre-weaned calves in Hokkaido
Eighty fecal samples from pre-weaned calves with diarrhea were collected in the Tokachi area in Northern Japan to investigate the prevalence of Cryptosporidium species in such animals. Oocysts from fecal samples collected from each animal were concentrated using sucrose gradient centrifugation. Genomic DNA was extracted from each sample and processed by nested PCR to amplify the partial SSU rRNA gene of Cryptosporidium. Cryptosporidium infections were detected in 75% of the samples. Sequence analysis was performed on all positive samples. Phylogenetic analysis of 33 successfully sequenced isolates of the SSUrRNA PCR products revealed all but one were Cryptosporidium parvum infections. The remaining single case was Cryptosporidium bovis. These findings suggest that C. parvum is prevalent in diarrheic pre-weaned calves and can be a source of cryptosporidial infections for humans and animals in Hokkaido.