Prevalence and Diversity of Cryptosporidium and Giardia Identified Among Feral Pigs in Texas
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The population size and geographic range of feral pigs in the United States are rapidly expanding. Nevertheless, the role of this invasive species in the ecology and transmission of zoonotic enteric pathogens is poorly understood. Our objectives were to describe the prevalence and diversity of Cryptosporidium and Giardia shedding among feral pigs throughout Texas and to identify risk factors for infection. Fecal samples were collected from feral pigs in Texas from February 2014 through May 2015. Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia cysts were detected using a direct immunofluorescence assay, and genotyping of positive samples was performed. The prevalence of Cryptosporidium shedding was 1.6% (6/370), and C. scrofarum and C. suis were identified. The prevalence of Giardia shedding was 4.3% (16/370), and assemblages A and E were identified. Cryptosporidium shedding was significantly more common among juvenile and subadult pigs than among adult pigs, but age group was not associated with Giardia shedding status. Feral pigs may serve as a source of Cryptosporidium and Giardia transmission to humans and livestock.
author list (cited authors)
Rodriguez-Rivera, L. D., Cummings, K. J., McNeely, I., Suchodolski, J. S., Scorza, A. V., Lappin, M. R., ... Bodenchuk, M. J.