Prevalence and molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium in giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) in Sichuan province, China
AuthorWang, T; Chen, Z; Xie, Y; Hou, R; Wu, Q; Gu, X; Lai, W; Peng, X; Yang, G
Source TitleParasites and Vectors
University of Melbourne Author/sWang, Tao
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsWang, T., Chen, Z., Xie, Y., Hou, R., Wu, Q., Gu, X., Lai, W., Peng, X. & Yang, G. (2015). Prevalence and molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium in giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) in Sichuan province, China. PARASITES & VECTORS, 8 (1), https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-015-0953-8.
Access StatusOpen Access
BACKGROUND: Cryptosporidium spp. have been extensively reported to cause significant diarrheal disease in humans and domestic animals. On the contrary, little information is available on the prevalence and characterization of Cryptosporidium in wild animals in China, especially in giant pandas. The aim of the present study was to detect Cryptosporidium infections and identify Cryptosporidium species at the molecular level in both captive and wild giant pandas in Sichuan province, China. FINDINGS: Using a PCR approach, we amplified and sequenced the 18S rRNA gene from 322 giant pandas fecal samples (122 from 122 captive individuals and 200 collected from four habitats) in Sichuan province, China. The Cryptosporidium species/genotypes were identified via a BLAST comparison against published Cryptosporidium sequences available in GenBank followed by phylogenetic analysis. The results revealed that both captive and wild giant pandas were infected with a single Cryptosporidium species, C. andersoni, at a prevalence of 15.6% (19/122) and 0.5% (1/200) in captive and wild giant pandas, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The present study revealed the existence of C. andersoni in both captive and wild giant panda fecal samples for the first time, and also provided useful fundamental data for further research on the molecular epidemiology and control of Cryptosporidium infection in giant pandas.
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