Species of Cryptosporidium and Giardia can infect humans and wildlife and have the potential to be transmitted between these 2 groups; yet, very little is known about these protozoans in marine wildlife. Feces of river otters (Lontra canadensis), a common marine wildlife species in the Puget Sound Georgia Basin, were examined for species of Cryptosporidium and Giardia to determine their role in the epidemiology of these pathogens. Using ZnSO4 flotation and immunomagnetic separation, followed by direct immunofluorescent antibody detection (IMS/DFA), we identified Cryptosporidium sp. oocysts in 9 fecal samples from 6 locations and Giardia sp. cysts in 11 fecal samples from 7 locations. The putative risk factors of proximate human population and degree of anthropogenic shoreline modification were not associated with the detection of Cryptosporidium or Giardia spp. in river otter feces. Amplification of DNA from the IMS/DFA slide scrapings was successful for 1 sample containing > 500 Cryptosporidium sp. oocysts. Sequences from the Cryptosporidium 18S rRNA and the COWP loci were most similar to the ferret Cryptosporidium sp. genotype. River otters could serve as reservoirs for Cryptosporidium and Giardia species in marine ecosystems. More work is needed to better understand the zoonotic potential of the genotypes they carry as well as their implications for river otter health.
To determine the prevalence of Cryptosporidium spp. and other zoonotic enteric parasites in a sample of domestic dogs and cats in the Niagara region, Ontario, 5 of 26 clinics invited by mail survey reported their parasitological findings over 24 months. Stool samples collected by 1 clinic over 68 days were investigated for parasites by using several techniques (fecal concentration, acid-fast staining, and a Cryptosporidium immunoassay). The 5 clinics that provided data indicated Toxocara spp. as the most frequent finding. Parasitological study of 111 stool samples showed a high overall positivity rate in samples from both dogs (40%) and cats (36.6%). Cryptosporidium spp. antigen was detected in 7.4% and 7.3%, Toxocara spp. in 14.2% and 12.2%, and Giardia spp. 7.1% and 2.4% of dog and cat samples, respectively. The high prevalence of zoonotic parasites in the Niagara region is important, and increased awareness of their potential threat to human health is necessary. Additionally, further research into the zoonotic capacity of Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia spp. is necessary.
Giardia intestinalis and Cryptosporidium spp. are commonly identified intestinal pathogens in humans and animals. In light of the clinical disease, production losses and zoonotic potential of both Giardia and Cryptosporidium infections, a study was undertaken to investigate the prevalence of these parasites in cattle, sheep, pigs and horses in Canadian farms at different geographical locations. A total of 104 cattle, 89 sheep, 236 pigs and 35 horses were sampled from 15 different Canadian geographical locations. Fecal samples were examined after concentration and immunofluorescent staining. Giardia and Cryptosporidium were present in cattle and sheep in six out of six sites sampled. In cattle the overall prevalence was 29% for Giardia and 20% for Cryptosporidium. Giardia was identified in 38% of sheep while 23% of sheep were positive for Cryptosporidium. Giardia and Cryptosporidium were identified in four out of six hog operations with an overall prevalence of 9% for Giardia and 11% for Cryptosporidium. All horse sampling locations (4/4) were positive for Giardia with 20% of animals infected. Cryptosporidium was identified in three out of four sampling sites with a prevalence of 17%. The prevalence of Giardia and Cryptosporidium was greater in calves and lambs compared to adults. This study demonstrates that both Giardia and Cryptosporidium appear to be prevalent in farm livestock.