Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12105/10547
The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) as a potential natural reservoir of human cryptosporidiosis by Cryptosporidium hominis in Northwest Spain.
Transbound Emerg Dis . 2020 Apr 17.
Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium spp. are ubiquitous intestinal protozoa that parasitize domestic and wild animals, as well as human beings. Due to their zoonotic potential, the objective of the present study was to determine the presence of these pathogens in the fox population (Vulpes vulpes) located in Northwest Spain. A total of 197 faecal samples from legally hunted foxes were collected in the autonomous region of Galicia. The presence of G. duodenalis and Cryptosporidium spp. was investigated by PCR-based methods amplifying the small subunit ribosomal RNA (ssu rRNA) gene of the parasites. Attempts to genotype obtained positive samples were subsequently conducted at the glutamate dehydrogenase (gdh) and β-giardin (bg) genes of G. duodenalis, and the 60 kDa glycoprotein (gp60) gene of Cryptosporidium. Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium spp. were identified in 19 (9.6%) and 12 (6.1%) of the investigated samples, respectively. However, five Cryptosporidium species were detected at the ssu rRNA locus: C. hominis (33.4%, 4/12), C. canis (25.0%, 3/12), C. parvum (16.7%, 2/12), C. ubiquitum (8.3%, 1/12) and C. suis (8.3%, 1/12). An additional Cryptosporidium-positive sample was identified at the genus level only. Typing and subtyping of Giardia- and Cryptosporidium-positive samples were unsuccessful. The detection of C. hominis in wild foxes indicates the probable overlapping of sylvatic and domestic cycles of this parasite in rural settings. Besides, this finding raises the question of whether red foxes may act as natural reservoirs of C. hominis. The detection of C. parvum and C. suis is suggestive of active transmission events between farm and wild animals, opening up the possibility of transmission to human beings.
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