Parasitology Research

, Volume 118, Issue 5, pp 1549–1558 | Cite as

Distribution of Cryptosporidium parvum gp60 subtypes in calf herds of Saxony, Germany

  • I. HolzhausenEmail author
  • M. Lendner
  • F. Göhring
  • I. Steinhöfel
  • A. Daugschies
Protozoology - Original Paper


Cryptosporidiosis is a common protozoan parasitic infection that causes diarrhoea in neonatal calves. The high shedding of environmentally resistant oocysts facilitates outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis in humans. In total, 58 farms (512 calves) in Germany (Saxony and Brandenburg) were visited three times each. Faecal samples of pre-weaned calves were microscopically examined for oocysts of Cryptosporidium spp. using Heine staining and were scored with regard to their consistency. Overall, 88.9% of calves tested microscopically positive for Cryptosporidium spp. in at least one sample, and the excretion of oocysts was significantly (P < 0.01) associated with a higher faecal score (diarrhoea). After DNA extraction from pooled farm isolates, 47 samples were successfully subtyped by sequence analysis of the 60 kDa glycoprotein gene (gp60). All isolates belonged to subtype family IIa. IIaA15G2R1 was the most common subtype (present on 66% of the farms), followed by IIaA16G3R1 (13%). Subtypes IIaA14G1R1, IIaA14G2R1, IIaA1612R1, IIaA16G2R1, IIaA17G1R1, IIaA17G2R1, IIaA17G4R1 and IIaA19G2R1 were found sporadically. This is the first description of gp60 subtype IIaA17G4R1 in cattle in Germany.


Cryptosporidium Calf Germany gp60 subtypes 



The authors would like to thank all members of the Institute of Parasitology, University of Leipzig, for technical and practical support and all employees of the “Core Unit DNA technologies”, University of Leipzig, for sequencing the gp60 nested PCR products.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. Holzhausen
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • M. Lendner
    • 1
  • F. Göhring
    • 1
    • 2
  • I. Steinhöfel
    • 3
  • A. Daugschies
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Parasitology, Centre for Infectious DiseasesUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  2. 2.Albrecht - Daniel - Thaer - Institute for Agricultural Sciences e.V.University of LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  3. 3.Saxon State Office for EnvironmentAgriculture and GeologyKöllitschGermany

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