Molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium from various hosts

U. M. MORGAN a1c1, K. D. SARGENT a1, P. DEPLAZES a2, D. A. FORBES a3, F. SPANO a4, H. HERTZBERG a2, A. ELLIOT a1 and R. C. A. THOMPSON a1
a1 World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for the Molecular Epidemiology of Parasitic Infections and State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre, Division of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia
a2 Institute of Parasitology, University of Zurich, Wintherthurerstrasse, 266a, CH-8057, Zurich, Switzerland
a3 Department of Paediatrics, University of Western Australia, Princess Margaret Hospital, GPO Box D184, WA 6001, Australia
a4 Istituto di Parassitologia, Università di Roma ‘La Sapienza’, P.le A. Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy


A 298 bp region of the Cryptosporidium parvum 18S rDNA and a 390 bp region of the acetyl-CoA synthetase gene were sequenced for a range of human and animal isolates of Cryptosporidium from different geographical areas. A distinct genotype is common to isolates from cattle, sheep and goats and also an alpaca from Peru and is referred to here as the ‘calf’-derived Cryptosporidium genotype. Another genotype of ‘human’-derived isolates also appears to be conserved amongst human isolates although humans are also susceptible to infection with the ‘calf’ Cryptosporidium genotype. Mice and pigs carry genetically distinct genotypes of Cryptosporidium. Three snake isolates were also analysed, 2 of which exhibited C. muris genotypes and the third snake isolate carried a distinct ‘mouse’ genotype.

(Received October 27 1997)
(Revised February 9 1998)
(Accepted February 11 1998)

Key Words: Cryptosporidium; characterization; genotypes.

c1 Corresponding author: Division of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia. Tel: +08 9360 2457. Fax: +08 9310 4144. E-mail: