This chapter illustrates the first epidemiological investigation of Cryptosporidium in a wild marsupial population. The molecular epidemiology of Cryptosporidium in marsupial hosts is not well comprehended. Molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium in marsupials consists of the identification of the Cryptosporidium parvum "marsupial" genotype in a koala, a red kangaroo, and in captive yellow-footed rock wallabies. The eastern grey kangaroo is one of Australia's largest and most abundant species of kangaroo. With its distribution confined to Eastern Australia, the population density in New South Wales alone during the year 2000 was estimated to be 3.7 million. The presence of eastern grey kangaroos in water catchment areas and their likely contribution of fecal contamination to riparian zones highlight the importance of understanding the epidemiology of Cryptosporidium in this host. This study demonstrates that Cryptosporidium is present within this eastern grey kangaroo population all year and that prevalence varies with season, peaking during late summer to early autumn. The numbers of oocysts shed ranges from 10 to 2 X 107 oocysts/g feces with the majority of animals shedding < 1000 oocysts/g feces.
|Title of host publication||Cryptosporidium|
|Subtitle of host publication||From molecules to disease|
|Editors||R.C. Andrew Thompson, Anthony Armson, Una M. Ryan|
|Place of Publication||Amsterdam|
|Number of pages||3|
|ISBN (Print)||9780444513519, 0444513515|
|Publication status||Published - 17 Dec 2003|