Genotyping of Cryptosporidium spp. isolated from human stool samples in Switzerland
In a study to estimate the frequency of Cryptosporidium infections in Switzerland, stool samples from patients found to be positive for Cryptosporidium spp. by modified Ziehl–Neelson staining and fluorescence microscopy were used for genotyping experiments. With 9 of 12 samples, DNA extraction and subsequent genotyping was successful. All Cryptosporidium-isolates belonged to the bovine genotype. In one stool sample, two strains of Cryptosporidium were demonstrated, suggesting a mixed infection. In comparison with reference strains from calves, one of the isolates showed a full sequence identity and the other a similarity of 97·5%. The fact that only bovine genotypes were detected suggests, that cryptosporidiosis must primarily be considered as a zoonotic disease in Switzerland. This is in contrast to other countries, where the human genotype of C. parvum was shown to dominate the epidemiological situation. The results of our study are supported by the previous finding, that two of the analysed strains originated from patients who used to consume raw milk or raw cream, a known risk factor for cryptosporidiosis.(Accepted March 18 2003)
c1 Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, Section of ‘Microbiology and Biotechnology’, 3003 Bern, Switzerland.