Qinghai Academy of Animal Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Centre for Biomedicine and Infectious Diseases, Qinghai University, State Key Laboratory of Plateau Ecology and Agriculture, Xining, 810016, People's Republic of China. [Email]
The occurrence of Cryptosporidium and Giardia species in slaughter, sewage and river waters of the Qinghai Tibetan Plateau Area (QTPA), China, was investigated. A total of 456 samples were collected from different locations in the QTPA to study the contamination rates of Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia via PCR and subsequent sequence analysis. Ten samples were Cryptosporidium positive, and 97 were Giardia positive, as confirmed by PCR amplification of the SSU rRNA gene. The percentages of positive Cryptosporidium and Giardia detection were 2.2% (10/456) and 21.3% (97/456), respectively. Cryptosporidium was detected in only sewage and river waters. Six species of Cryptosporidium were identified: Cryptosporidium hominis (n = 5), C. andersoni (n = 1), C. environmental (n = 1), C. struthionis (n = 1), C. canis (n = 1), and C. parvum (n = 1). G. duodenalis assemblage A was identified in almost all positive samples (n = 96), and one sample harboured G. duodenalis assemblage E. The results suggest that Cryptosporidium and Giardia species circulate through the aqueous environment and different hosts. Therefore, we strongly recommend that the local government and health authorities in China undertake control measures to reduce the contamination of water sources by these protozoa to protect the health of humans and animals.