Genetic characterization reveals evidence for an association between water contamination and zoonotic transmission of a Cryptosporidium sp. from dairy cattle in West Bengal, India

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Abstract

Cryptosporidium sp. is an enteric parasite with zoonotic potential, and can infect a wide range of vertebrates, including human. Determining the source of infection and the mode of transmission in a new endemic region is crucial for the control of cryptosporidiosis. In the present study, we have assessed the importance of dairy cattle as a potential source of Cryptosporidium infection for humans in a newly recognized endemic region. Cryptosporidium isolates from dairy calves, humans (farm workers) and nearby water bodies were genetically characterized based on 18SrRNA and hsp70 genes. A high incidence of Cryptosporidium infection was identified in our study region. This finding is of public health concern. Cryptosporidium ryanae rather than Cryptosporidium parvum has been identified as the most prevalent infecting species in the study region. Infections were associated with clinical symptoms of infected animals. An incomplete linkage disequilibrium (LD) value with potential recombination events at 18SrRNA locus were identified for the first time in C. ryanae, which was previously reported as a clonal population. Phylogenetic analysis revealed the presence of identical genotypes of a Cryptosporidium sp. from dairy calves, farm workers and nearby water bodies and indicates an association between water contamination and zoonotic transmission of Cryptosporidiosis in our study region.

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Das, K., Nair, L. V., Ghosal, A., Sardar, S. K., Dutta, S., & Ganguly, S. (2019). Genetic characterization reveals evidence for an association between water contamination and zoonotic transmission of a Cryptosporidium sp. from dairy cattle in West Bengal, India. Food and Waterborne Parasitology, 17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fawpar.2019.e00064

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