Detection of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in agricultural and water environments in the Qinghai area of China by IFT and PCR
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Qinghai Province in northwest China is strongly influenced by agricultural activities and is an important source of food and drinking water. Here, we present findings regarding the occurrence and molecular epidemiology of Cryptosporidium and Giardia species based on a large-scale investigation of areas of Qinghai Province. The diagnosis and molecular detection of Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia cysts was carried out using immunofluorescence microscopy (IFT), whereas nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in fecal smears and water samples was used for the detection and molecular characterization of the species. In total, 561 samples (260 water samples and 301 fecal samples from animals) were collected and analyzed. Of the 260 water samples, 66 samples were Cryptosporidium-positive by IFT and 71 samples were positive by nested PCR; in addition, 39 samples were Giardia-positive by IFT and 40 samples were positive by nested PCR. Of the 301 fecal samples from animals, 98 samples were Cryptosporidium-positive by IFT and 61 samples were positive by nested PCR, whereas 52 samples were Giardia-positive by IFT and 31 samples were positive by nested PCR. We showed that the water supplies and animals investigated contained Cryptosporidium and Giardia (oo)cysts. Thus, we recommend that the Chinese Government and Chinese health authorities undertake control measures to protect the food and drinking water sources in Qinghai from these pathogenic protozoa.
KeywordsWater Feces Giardia Cryptosporidium Nested PCR Immunofluorescence test
We would like to express our appreciation to the Chinese Government for financial support. This work was supported by Grant 2009-Z-48 from The Ministry of Agriculture of the People's Republic of China.
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