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Open Access Research article

Occurrence and molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium in dogs in Henan Province, China

Fuchun Jian12, Meng Qi12, Xiaoyi He3, Rongjun Wang12, Sumei Zhang12, Heping Dong1 and Longxian Zhang12*

Author Affiliations

1 College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou 450002, P R, China

2 International Joint Research Laboratory for Zoonotic Diseases of Henan, Zhengzhou 450002, P R, China

3 Xiangya School of Medicine, Central South University, Changsha 410013, P R, China

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BMC Veterinary Research 2014, 10:26  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-10-26

Published: 17 January 2014



Cryptosporidiosis in dogs has been reported worldwide, involving both asymptomatic and diarrheic dogs. Large-scale surveys of Cryptosporidium infection in dogs have been performed in some countries using differents diagnostic methods. But, few data are available on the infection rate and molecular characteristics of Cryptosporidium spp. in dogs in China.


In this study, 770 fecal samples from 66 locations in Henan Province were examined. The average Cryptosporidium infection rate was 3.8%, with dogs in kennels having the highest rate of 7.0% (χ2 = 14.82, P < 0.01). The infection rate was 8.0% in dogs younger than 90 days, which was significantly higher than that in the other age groups (1.1–3.8%;χ2 = 18.82, P < 0.01). No association was noted between the infection rate and the sex of the dogs. Twenty-nine Cryptosporidium-positive samples were amplified at the small subunit rRNA (SSU rRNA), 70-kDa heat shock protein (HSP70), and actin loci using PCR. Sequence analysis of these amplicons identified only Cryptosporidium canis, which showed 100% identity with the published sequences of the SSU rRNA, HSP70, and actin genes.


Our results confirm that C. canis is popular in the dog population in China, considering the large number of dogs in China and the close contact between dogs and humans, the role of C. canis in the transmission of human cryptosporidiosis warrants attention.

Infection rate; Dogs; Cryptosporidium canis; SSU rRNA; HSP70; Actin