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Cryptosporidium species in Australian wildlife and domestic animals

  • UNA RYAN (a1) and MICHELLE POWER (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 20 August 2012

Cryptosporidium is an important enteric parasite that is transmitted via the fecal-oral route, water and food. Humans, wildlife and domestic livestock all potentially contribute Cryptosporidium to surface waters. Most species of Cryptosporidium are morphologically indistinguishable and can only be identified using molecular tools. Over 24 species have been identified and of these, 7 Cryptosporidium species/genotypes are responsible for most human cryptosporidiosis cases. In Australia, relatively few genotyping studies have been conducted. Six Cryptosporidium species (C. hominis, C. parvum, C. meleagridis, C. fayeri, C. andersoni and C. bovis) have been identified in humans in Australia. However, little is known about the contribution of animal hosts to human pathogenic strains of Cryptosporidium in drinking water catchments. In this review, we focus on the available genotyping data for native, feral and domestic animals inhabiting drinking water catchments in Australia to provide an improved understanding of the public health implications and to identify key research gaps.

Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: Division of Health Sciences, School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Perth WA 6150. Tel: +6189360 2482. Fax: +6189310 4144. E-mail:
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