We undertook a study on Cryptosporidium spp. in wild cricetid rodents. Fecal samples were collected from meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus), southern red-backed voles (Myodes gapperi), woodland voles (Microtus pinetorum), muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus) and Peromyscus spp. mice in North America, and from bank voles (Myodes glareolus) and common voles (Microtus arvalis) in Europe. Isolates were characterized by sequence and phylogenetic analyses of the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU) and actin genes. Overall, 33·2% (362/1089) of cricetids tested positive for Cryptosporidium, with a greater prevalence in cricetids from North America (50·7%; 302/596) than Europe (12·1%; 60/493). Principal Coordinate analysis separated SSU sequences into three major groups (G1-G3), each represented by sequences from North American and European cricetids. A maximum likelihood tree of SSU sequences had low bootstrap support and showed G1 to be more heterogeneous than G2 or G3. Actin and concatenated actin-SSU trees, which were better resolved and had higher bootstrap support than the SSU phylogeny, showed that closely related cricetid hosts in Europe and North America are infected with closely related Cryptosporidium genotypes. Cricetids were not major reservoirs of human pathogenic Cryptosporidium spp.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge funding support from the US Department of Agriculture National Research Initiative (Project # 2008-35102-19260), the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (1R15AI122152-01A1), the Czech Science Foundation (15-01090S), the Grant Agency of University of South Bohemia (002/2016/Z and 098/2016/Z), and the North Dakota Water Resources Research Institute, North Dakota State University Graduate School.
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2017.