In order to acquire prevalence and genetic data on Cryptosporidium infections in captive lizards and snakes kept as pets, a survey was conducted on 150 individual reptiles from southern Italy. Fecal samples were preserved in 5% formalin and analyzed using a commercial immunofluorescence assay (IFA) for the detection of Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia cysts. IFA revealed the presence of Cryptosporidium oocysts in nine of the 150 samples examined (6.0%), precisely in 6/125 snakes (4.8%) and in 3/25 lizards (12.0%); all fecal samples tested negative for the presence of Giardia cysts. Molecular characterization based on nested PCR amplification and sequencing of the SSU-rRNA gene, revealed the presence of Cryptosporidium serpentis in three samples from snakes (Boa constrictor constrictor, Elapheguttata guttata guttata and Python molurus).
Rinaldi, L., Capasso, M., Mihalca, A. D., Cirillo, R., Cringoli, G., & Cacciò, S. (2012). Prevalence and molecular identification of Cryptosporidium isolates from pet lizards and snakes in Italy. Parasite (Paris, France), 19(4), 437–440. https://doi.org/10.1051/parasite/2012194437