Opportunistic Protozoan Infections of Carnivores

K. Mravcová 1 , M. Ferko 1 , G. Štrkolcová 1 , and M. Goldová 1
  • 1 Institute of Parasitology, University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy, Komenského 73, 041 81 , Košice, Slovakia


Giardiasis and cryptosporidiosis are protozoan infections of the digestive tract and one of the most frequent causes of enteritis in dogs and cats, associated with acute and chronic diarrhoea. Generally, the risk of infection is higher for younger individuals in which the overall clinical picture and the course of disease are more serious. In this study we investigated the prevalence of giardiasis and cryptosporidiosis in dogs in Košice district of eastern Slovakia. From September 2015 until November 2016, we examined samples of faeces from 100 dogs from two shelters. Giardia duodenalis was diagnosed by the flotation method according to Faust, and by the molecular biologic method (Nested PCR). For the diagnosis of cryptosporidium oocysts, we used a staining method according to Kinyoun, and for detection of the presence of Cryptosporidium spp. a sandwich ELISA method. The total prevalence of these protozoan infections were 22 % (22/100), and of that, 19 % of the samples (19/100) were positive for Giardia duodenalis and 3 % (3/100) for the Cryptosporidium spp. In the shelter in Haniska, the giardia cysts were present in 9/54 samples (16.6 %) and cryptosporidia oocysts in 1/54 (1.85 %) samples of the faeces. In the Malá Farma shelter, 10/46 (21.73 %) samples were positive for G. duodenalis and 2/46 (4.34 %) showed positivity for Cryptosporidium spp.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • 1. Adamová, V., Štrkolcová, G., Goldová, M., 2014: Giardiasis and cryptosporidiosis in dogs in Košice. Folia Veterinaria, 58, 2, 69-71.

  • 2. Bajer, A., Bednarska, M., Rodo, A., 2011: Risk factors and control of intestinal parasite infections in sled dogs in Poland. Vet. Parasitol., 175, 343-350.

  • 3. Cacció, S. M., Ryan, U., 2008: Molecular epidemiology of giardiasis. Mol. Biochem. Parasitol., 160, 75-80.

  • 4. Cama, V., Gilman, R. H., Vivar, A., Ticona, E., Ortega, Y., Bern, C., Xiao, L., 2006: Mixed Cryptosporidium infections and HIV. Emerg. Infect. Dis., 12, 1025-1028.

  • 5. Dubná, S., Langrová, I., Nápravník, J., Jankovská, I., Vadlejch, J., Pekár, S., Frchtner, J., 2007: The prevalence of intestinal parasites in dogs from Prague, rural areas, and shelters of the Czech Republic. Vet. Parasitol., 145, 120-128.

  • 6. Faust, E. C., D’Antonio, J. S., Odom, V., Miller, M. J., Peres, C., Sawitz, W. et al., 1938: A critical study of clinical laboratory techniques for the diagnosis of protozoan cysts and helminth eggs in faeces. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg., 18, 169-183.

  • 7. Feng, Y., Xiao, L., 2011: Zoonotic potential and molecular epidemiology of Giardia species and Giardiasis. Clin. Microbiol. Rev., 24, 110-140.

  • 8. Garcia, L. S., Bruckner, D. A., 1977: Collection, preservation, and shipment of faecal specimens. Garcia, L. S., Bruckner, D. A. (Eds.): Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, 3rd edn., ASM Press, Washington D. C., 593-607.

  • 9. Gil, H., 2017: Detection and molecular diversity of Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium spp. in sheltered dogs and cats in northern Spain. Infect. Genet. Evol., 50, 66-68.

  • 10. Goldová, M., Valenčáková, A., Mojžišová, J., Halánová, M., Letková, V., Ravaszová, P., 2011: Occurrence of Giardia and Cryptosporidium in dogs. In Proceedings of SEVC - 46th Southern European Veterinary Conference, Sept. 29-Oct. 2, Barcelona.

  • 11. Gundłach, J. L., Sadzikowski, A. B., Studzińska, M. B., Tomczuk, K., 2004: Invasion of Giardia spp. and Cryptosporidium spp. in dogs and cats. Medycyna Weterynaryjna, 60, 1202- 1203.

  • 12. Halliez, M. C. M., Buret, A. G., 2013: Extra-intestinal and long-term consequences of Giardia duodenalis infections. World J. Gastroenterol., 19, 8974-8985.

  • 13. Hunter, P. R., Hadfield, S. J., Wilkinson, D., Lake, I. R., Harrison, F. C. D. et al., 2007: Subtypes of Cryptosporidium parvum in humans and disease risk. Emerg. Infect. Dis., 13, 82-88.

  • 14. Jíra, J., 2009: Medical Protozoology. Protozoan Diseases (In Czech). Galén, 567 pp.

  • 15. Majewska, A. C., Werner, A., Słodkowicz, A., Dąbrowski, P., Luty, T., 2001: Prevalence of intestinal protozoan parasites in dogs and cats in the Poznań area. Annals of Parasitology, 47, 30.

  • 16. Nichols, G. L., Chalmers, R. M., Hadfield, S. J., 2014: Molecular epidemiology of human cryptosporidiosis. Cryptosporidium: Parasite and Disease. Springer, 81-147.

  • 17. Plutzer, J., Ongerth, J., Karanis, P., 2010: Giardia taxonomy, phylogeny and epidemiology: Facts and open questions. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 213, 321-333.

  • 18. Putigniani, L., Menichella, D., 2010: Global distribution, public health and clinical impact of the protozoan pathogen Cryptosporidium. Interdiscip. Perspect. Infect. Dis., Epub, https://www.ncbi.nim.nih.gov.pubmed/207006669.

  • 19. Savioli, L., Smith, H., Thompson, R. C. A., 2006: Giardia and Cryptosporidium join the “Neglected Diseases Initiative”. Trends Parasitol., 22, 203-208.

  • 20. Sulaiman, I. M., Fayer, R., Bern, C., Gilman, R. H., Trout, J. M., Schantz, P. M. et al., 2003: Triosephosphate isomerase gene characterization and potential zoonotic transmission of Giardia duodenalis. Emerg. Infect. Diseases, 9, 1444-1452.

  • 21. Štrkolcová, G., Maďar, M., Hinney, B., Goldová, M., Mojžišová, J., Halánová, M., 2015: Dog’s genotype of Giardia duodenalis in human: first evidence in Europe. Acta Parasitologica, 60, 796-799.

  • 22. Xiao, L., Bern, C., Limor, J., Sulaiman, I., Roberts, J., Checkley, W. et al., 2001: Identification of 5 types of Cryptosporidium parasites in children in Lima, Peru. J. Infect. Dis., 183, 492-497.

  • 23. Xiao, L., 2010: Molecular epidemiology of cryptosporidiosis: an update. Exp. Parasitol., 124, 80-89.


Journal + Issues