Cryptosporidium from a free-ranging marsupial host: Bandicoots in urban Australia

Matthew Dowle*, Nichola J. Hill, Michelle L. Power

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Expansion of human settlement has increased the interface between people and bandicoots with implications for the emergence and spread of zoonotic parasites. The host status of bandicoots inhabiting suburban areas and their potential role in Cryptosporidium transmission remains unresolved. Our study aimed to determine the prevalence and identity of Cryptosporidium in two sympatric bandicoot species. Cryptosporidium signatures were detected in twelve bandicoot faecal samples (n= 98) through amplification of the 18S rRNA. Phylogenetic inference placed the isolates in a clade with Cryptosporidium parvum, a species with a broad host range and zoonotic potential, or loosely related to Cryptosporidium hominis. However, the identity of the bandicoot isolates was not fully resolved and whether they were infected or simply passively transmitting oocysts is unknown. This study revealed that free-ranging bandicoots of northern Sydney were shedding Cryptosporidium oocysts at a prevalence of 12.2% (95% CI [6.76, 20.8]), similar to marsupial species that act as reservoirs for Cryptosporidium. Our findings expand the range of hosts known to shed Cryptosporidium in urban areas.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)197-200
    Number of pages4
    JournalVeterinary Parasitology
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2013


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