The highly polymorphic 60 kDa glycoprotein (GP60) of Cryptosporidium is an important tool for investigating the epidemiology of this parasite. Characterization of the GP60 gene has only been performed for 3 of the 20 known Cryptosporidium species, and has already enabled sub-typing and source tracking of species with human significance. We have characterised a fourth species, Cryptosporidium fayeri, at the GP60 locus using isolates (n = 26) from different marsupial hosts to assess the diversity of GP60 within this species. The analysis demonstrated that C. fayeri isolates could be assigned to 6 subtypes which were associated with host species and locality. The intra-species diversity for the host-adapted C. fayeri was less than the diversity for human pathogenic species suggesting that the GP60 locus is under less selective pressure in these than host-adapted species.
- surface antigens