Molecular evidence for Cryptosporidium infection in dogs in Central Italy
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Two hundred and forty kennel and privately owned dogs were tested for a molecular epidemiological study on Cryptosporidium infection. Genomic DNA was extracted from individual faecal samples. All the DNA extracts were analysed with a PCR assay specific for a ∼400-bp fragment internal to the gene encoding for the Cryptosporidium oocyst wall protein. The prevalence was 3.3% and it was higher in kennel dogs and in dogs with gastrointestinal symptoms. Cryptosporidiumparvum was detected by sequencing analysis in six kennel dogs and one privately owned dog, and Cryptosporidiumcanis was detected in one kennel dog. This is the first investigation on the prevalence of Cryptosporidium in Italian dogs and has pointed to the existence of genotypes that may be of public health significance.
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