First surveillance and molecular identification of the Cryptosporidium skunk genotype and Cryptosporidium parvum in wild raccoons (Procyon lotor) in Osaka, Japan
Recent research suggests that raccoons (Procyon lotor) can transmit several important pathogens affecting humans, including protozoans. In Japan, the number of wild raccoons has increased since they were first introduced more than 50 years ago. Here, we report the first survey of Cryptosporidium infection using fecal swabs of raccoons captured in Osaka, Japan. Of 116 raccoons examined by PCR targeting of the Cryptosporidium 18S rRNA gene, 7 (6.03%; 2 adults and 5 young animals) were positive, and the isolates were identified as Cryptosporidium skunk genotype (subtype XVIa) and C. parvum based on sequence and phylogenetic analyses. Both species and the genotype are zoonotic; thus, our results suggest that raccoons could transmit Cryptosporidium infections to humans in Japan.
KeywordsCryptosporidium skunk genotype Cryptosporidium parvum Osaka Procyon lotor Raccoon
We thank Mrs. Rika Sekiguchi (Osaka Prefecture University, Osaka, Japan) for assistance in conducting molecular examinations.
This work was supported in part by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan (nos. 16 K15049 and 16H05803).
Compliance with ethical standards
All examinations in this study were permitted by the government and conducted as a part of government affairs. No human participants were involved in this study. Thus, ethical approval of animal experimentation was not necessary. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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