The aim of the present study was to identify the species of Cryptosporidium infecting Eurasian wild boars (Sus scrofa) in Galicia (NW, Spain). A sampling of 209 wild boars shot in different game preserves was carried out during the hunting season in 2009-2010. All samples were examined for Cryptosporidium infection, using both immunological and molecular tools. Cryptosporidium oocysts in faecal samples were identified using a direct immunofluorescence technique with monoclonal antibodies (DFA). The presence of Cryptosporidium DNA was determined using nested PCR involving amplification of a fragment of the small-subunit (SSU) ribosomal RNA gene (SSU rRNA). A total of 35 (16.7%) samples tested positive with both techniques. However, sequencing was only possible in 27 samples. Cryptosporidium scrofarum, Cryptosporidium suis and Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts were identified in 19, 5 and 3 of the samples, respectively. Moreover, C. scrofarum was detected as a dominant species infecting all age groups (juveniles, sub adults and adults). Sequence analyses of the glycoprotein (GP60) gene revealed the presence of C. parvum subtypes IIaA16G2R1 in 2 juveniles and IIaA13G1R1 in 1 sub adult wild boar. These species and subtypes have previously been described in human patients, indicating that isolates from asymptomatic wild boars might have zoonotic potential. This is the first report of the presence of C. scrofarum, C. suis and C. parvum subtypes IIaA16G2R1 and IIaA13G1R1 in wild boars (S. scrofa) in Spain.
Keywords: C. parvum; C. suis; Cryptosporidium scrofarum; Sus scrofa; Zoonoses.
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