MOLECULAR CHARACTERIZATION OF GIARDIA INTESTINALIS, ENTEROCYTOZOON, AND CRYPTOSPORIDIUM SPECIES IN ZOO WORKERS AND FELINE SPECIES OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE ZOO

Main Article Content

Muhammad Waris
Syed Mohsin Bukhari
Ali Hussain
Muhammad Hafeez-ur-Rehman

Keywords

Cryptosporidium, Enterocytozoon, Giardia intestinalis, feline, molecular characterization

Abstract

Zoonoses are diseases, naturally transmitted from vertebrate animals to humans. Parasitic diseases are often caused by common gastrointestinal (GI) protist pathogens like Giardia intestinalis, Enterocytozoon, and Cryptosporidium species. Focusing on the potential zoonotic transmission of these protozoan parasites, a comprehensive study was conducted from 20-01-2023 to 10-01-2024. Fecal samples (n=212) from zoo personnel and feline inhabitants were collected and subjected to molecular analyses to identify and characterize G. intestinalis, Enterocytozoon, and Cryptosporidium isolates. The study aimed to identify and determine the molecular epidemiology of G. intestinalis, Enterocytozoon spp., and Cryptosporidium spp. in zoo workers and feline species, revealing risk factors for zoonotic transmission in zoos. Molecular techniques, including PCR and DNA sequencing, were employed to analyze and characterize the identified Giardia, Enterocytozoon, and Cryptosporidium isolates. Additionally, factors such as hygiene practices, animal interactions, and environmental conditions were assessed to elucidate potential sources and routes of transmission. This study sheds light on G. intestinalis, Enterocytozoon spp. and Cryptosporidium spp. epidemiology in zoos, stressing the need for preventive measures against zoonotic transmission. The study highlights the need for sanitation, health screenings, and awareness programs for zoo staff and visitors. This ensures safety for both humans and animals in zoological settings.

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