Species and genotypes causing human cryptosporidiosis in New Zealand

In a recent IDReC publication in Parasitology Research Juan C. Garcia-R and others present their research into the biodiversity of Cryptosporidium infections in New Zealand.

The authors use Cryptosporidium DNA sequence data from over 2500 human faecal samples collected during an 11-year period (2009–2019) to better understand the impact of different species and subtypes on public health and to gain insights into the variation of human cryptosporidiosis in New Zealand. The key findings show that Cryptosporidium hominis cases appear to peak during autumn (March–May) whereas most cases of human cryptosporidiosis caused by C. parvum occur during the calving and lambing season in spring (September–November). The study also reports certain Cryptosporidium subtypes at higher than expected frequencies compared with overseas, and a low prevalence of hypertransmissible and virulent subtypes which are more common elsewhere. This study provides insight into the variability of cryptosporidiosis in New Zealand essential for disease management and surveillance to prevent the introduction or spread of new species and subtypes in the country.

Several other IDReC researchers were involved in this work including Anthony Pita, Niluka Velathanthiri, Nigel French and David Hayman. Access to the full article can be found here

More information and examples of the work of the Protozoa Research Unit can be found here


Image : Immunofluorescence image of C. parvum oocysts.

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