Cryptosporidium viatorum from the native Australian swamp rat Rattus lutreolus - An emerging zoonotic pathogen?
AuthorKoehler, AV; Wang, T; Haydon, SR; Gasser, RB
Source TitleInternational Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife
PublisherELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsKoehler, A. V., Wang, T., Haydon, S. R. & Gasser, R. B. (2018). Cryptosporidium viatorum from the native Australian swamp rat Rattus lutreolus - An emerging zoonotic pathogen?. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR PARASITOLOGY-PARASITES AND WILDLIFE, 7 (1), pp.18-26. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijppaw.2018.01.004.
Access StatusOpen Access
Cryptosporidium viatorum is a globally distributed pathogenic species of Cryptosporidium that has only ever been recorded from humans, until now. For the first time, we molecularly characterised a novel subtype of C. viatorum (subtype XVbA2G1) from the endemic Australian swamp rat (Rattus lutreolus) using the small subunit of nuclear ribosomal RNA (SSU) gene and then subtyped it using the 60-kilodalton glycoprotein (gp60) gene. In total, faecal samples from 21 swamp rats (three were positive for C. viatorum), three broad toothed rats (Mastacomys fuscus) and two bush rats (Rattus fuscipes) were tested for Cryptosporidium. The long-term, isolated nature of the swamp rat population in Melbourne's drinking water catchment system (where public access is prohibited), the lack of C. viatorum from other mammals and birds living within the vicinity of this system and its genetic distinctiveness in both the SSU and gp60 gene sequences from other species of Cryptosporidium collectively suggest that C. viatorum might be endemic to native rats in Australia. The current state of knowledge of epidemiological surveys of Cryptosporidium of rats and the zoonotic potential are further discussed in light of the finding of C. viatorum. Long-term studies, with the capacity to repetitively sample a variety of hosts in multiple localities, in different seasons and years, will allow for greater insight into the epidemiological patterns and zoonotic potential of rare Cryptosporidium species such as C. viatorum.
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