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Occurrence of a Cryptosporidium xiaoi–like genotype in peafowl (Pavo cristatus) in China


The aim of this study was to survey the Cryptosporidium species in peafowls (Pavo cristatus) in Henan Province, China. A total of 143 fecal specimens collected from a breeding farm were tested for Cryptosporidium by nested PCR targeting the small subunit rRNA (SSU rRNA), 70-kDa heat shock protein (HSP70), and actin genes of Cryptosporidium followed by sequence analysis. Only one isolate from an asymptomatic host was obtained, and the isolate differed from a new C. xiaoi–like genotype by one nucleotide and from C. xiaoi or C. bovis at the SSU rRNA locus by six nucleotides. Likewise, the actin gene shared 99% identity with the C. xiaoi–like genotype, accompanied by four nucleotide mutations. A complete sequence of the HSP70 gene was obtained, and exhibited 96% similarity with that from C. xiaoi and differed by one nucleotide from that with the C. xiaoi–like genotype. Phylogenetic analysis of the current isolate revealed genetic relatedness to the C. xiaoi–like genotype and distinction from C. xiaoi and C. bovis. Therefore, our results provided the first documentation of avian infection with a C. xiaoi–like genotype in China and further insight into the diversity of Cryptosporidium spp. in avians.

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We gratefully thank Dong Li, Shanshan Zhang, and Shiquan Wu for their help in collecting the feces specimens.


This work was supported in part by the Henan Institute of Science and Technology (numbers 2018CX47 and 2018CX49).

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Xuehan Liu.

Ethics declarations

This study was performed in compliance with the Chinese law on the Protection of Wildlife (modified by Henan Province, no. 005253090).

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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Liu, X., Zhu, H., Meng, W. et al. Occurrence of a Cryptosporidium xiaoi–like genotype in peafowl (Pavo cristatus) in China. Parasitol Res 118, 3555–3559 (2019).

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  • Cryptosporidium
  • C. xiaoi
  • like genotype
  • Genetic diversity
  • Peafowl