Occurrence and molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium spp. in mammals and reptiles at the Lisbon Zoo
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The presence of Cryptosporidium parasites in mammals and reptiles kept at the Lisbon Zoo was investigated. A total of 274 stool samples were collected from 100 mammals and 29 reptiles. The species and genotype of the isolates identified by light microscopy were determined by nested PCR and sequence analysis of a fragment of the small subunit rRNA gene. Cryptosporidium oocysts were found in one black wildebeest (Connochaetes gnou), one Prairie bison (Bison bison bison) and in one Indian star tortoise (Geochelone elegans). The PCR and sequence analysis of these three isolates showed that those excreted by the Prairie bison were Cryptosporidium mouse genotype, those from the black wildebeest were from a new Cryptosporidium genotype and those infecting the Indian star tortoise were Cryptosporidium tortoise genotype. The present work reports a new Cryptosporidium genotype in a black wildebeest and the first finding of the Cryptosporidium mouse genotype in a ruminant.