Fecal samples from wild-caught common voles (n = 328) from 16 locations in the Czech Republic were screened for Cryptosporidium by microscopy and PCR/sequencing at loci coding small-subunit rRNA, Cryptosporidium oocyst wall protein, actin and 70 kDa heat shock protein. Cryptosporidium infections were detected in 74 voles (22.6%). Rates of infection did not differ between males and females nor between juveniles and adults. Phylogenetic analysis revealed the presence of eight Cryptosporidium species/genotypes including two new species, C. alticolis and C. microti. These species from wild-caught common voles were able to infect common and meadow voles under experimental conditions, with a prepatent period of 3-5 days post-infection (DPI), but they were not infectious for various other rodents or chickens. Meadow voles lost infection earlier than common voles (11-14 vs 13-16 DPI) and had significantly lower infection intensity. Cryptosporidium alticolis infects the anterior small intestine and has larger oocysts (5.4 × 4.9 μm), whereas C. microti infects the large intestine and has smaller oocysts (4.3 × 4.1 m). None of the rodents developed clinical signs of infection. Genetic and biological data support the establishment of C. alticolis and C. microti as separate species of the genus Cryptosporidium.
- Experimental infection
- molecular analyses
- oocyst size
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article
- Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
- Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't