Basic Information image


Animal Species—hosts And/Or Carriers


• Cryptosporidium species have been isolated from more than 30 avian species. The predominant species affecting birds are C. meleagridis and C. baileyi, with the former demonstrating zoonotic potential, particularly among immune compromised individuals. C. galli was first reported in 1999 in chickens; the pathologic significance of this species is largely unknown in both birds and humans. This species has since been identified in a small number of psittacine and passerine birds.

• Several Cryptosporidium genotypes have been discovered among birds, particularly psittacines and passerines. The zoonotic potential of these genotypes is undetermined at this stage but is considered relatively low owing to the lack of confirmed human cases associated with these genotypes.

• C. meleagridis is most commonly observed among turkeys. The organism has also been isolated from chickens, game birds, and waterfowl. Recently, C. meleagridis has been reported in a small number of psittacine species.


• Pet, wild, and laboratory mice (Mus domesticus) are definitive hosts for C. muris, which has been isolated infrequently from humans and is considered to be of minor zoonotic concern.

• To the author’s knowledge, genetically confirmed, zoonotic C. parvum has been reported in mice only once. In this report, five mice from Victoria, Australia, were shown to carry this organism. The mice might have obtained this organism from sheep with which they shared close proximity.

• Recent studies have demonstrated that mice also carry Cryptosporidium mouse genotypes I and II. To date, genotype I has been isolated from one human with clinical cryptosporidiosis in the Middle East. Genotype II has not been isolated from humans.

• The overall zoonotic risk of cryptosporidiosis posed to humans by mice is considered relatively small.

Clinical Presentation of Animals


• Cryptosporidium meleagridis is most commonly observed among turkeys. The organism affects the epithelial cells of the small intestine and causes a severe diarrheal disease, particularly in poults. Additionally, birds may present with lethargy, anorexia, and huddling, and moderate flock mortality rates may be observed.

• C. baileyi causes bursitis and cloacal infection in chickens that may be detected histologically. However, this organism rarely leads to clinical disease.

• C. baileyi has, however, been reported to cause moderate to severe ocular and respiratory disease in more than 30 species of birds, including chickens, turkeys, and a number of caged, aviary, and pet bird species from multiple genera. Affected birds may present with oculonasal discharge, sneezing, and/or cough. Histopathologic evaluation of these birds may demonstrate sinusitis, air sacculitis, tracheitis, and/or pneumonia.

• Occasionally, Cryptosporidium species have been identified as a cause of nephritis and ureteritis in a variety of avian species. Clinical signs vary but may include anorexia, weight loss, and weakness characterized by pelvic limb paresis. Affected birds are typically immune suppressed by concurrent viral infections.

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Jul 28, 2016 | Posted by in EXOTIC, WILD, ZOO | Comments Off on Cryptosporidiosis

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