Molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium from animal sources in Qinghai province of China
The presence of Cryptosporidium oocysts in 20 zoo animals of the Xining Zoo, 16 farm yaks and 42 farm goats in Qinghai province, China was investigated by an immunofluorescence test (IFT). The species and/or genotypes were determined by nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequence analysis of a fragment of the small subunit (SSU) rRNA gene. Cryptosporidium oocysts were found in 16 zoo animals, 2 yaks, and 15 goats by IFT. The IFT positive samples were further investigated by PCR, and 16 of them were found to be positive by that method also. Sequence analysis of the PCR products derived from Cryptosporidium oocysts from Black leopard (Panthera pardus), Heijing He (Grus nigricollis), Barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia), Takin (Budorcas taxicolor), Lesser panda (Ailurus fulgens), and White-eared pheasant (Crossoptilon crossoptilon) fecal samples matched that of Cryptosporidium parvum mouse genotype. Sequence analyses of other PCR products were consistent with cervine genotype Cryptosporidium from Ibex (Capra ibex), a novel Cryptosporidium genotype from a wild yak (Bos mutus), C. bovis–like genotype from one goat sample and also a novel Cryptosporidium genotype from one other separate goat sample. The present work reports the first data on Cryptosporidium infections in animals from the Qinghai province of mountainous central western China and the first findings of the ‘cervine’ genotype in Capra ibex, C. bovis–like genotype and the new Cryptosporidium spp. in farm goat and in wild yak.