Main Article Content

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


Cryptosporidium, Enterocytozoon, Giardia intestinalis, feline, molecular characterization


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.

Abstract 146 | PDF Downloads 36


1. Baneth G, Thamsborg SM, Otranto D, et al. Major parasitic zoonoses associated with dogs and cats in Europe. J Comp Pathol 2016;155(1):54-74.
2. Dong H, Cheng R, Li X, et al. Molecular identification of Cryptosporidium spp., Enterocytozoon bieneusi, and Giardia duodenalis in captive pet birds in Henan province, central China. J Eukaryot Microbiol 2021;68(2):1-8.
3. Karimi P, Shafaghi-Sisi S, Meamar AR, Razmjou E. Molecular identification of Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and Blastocystis from stray and household cats and cat owners in Tehran, Iran. Sci Rep 2023;13(1):1554-66.
4. Almugadam BS, Ibrahim MK, Liu Y, et al. Association of urogenital and intestinal parasitic infections with type 2 diabetes individuals: a comparative study. BMC Infect Dis 2021;21:1-9.
5. Fan Y, Wang X, Yang R, et al. Molecular characterization of the waterborne pathogens Cryptosporidium spp., Giardia duodenalis, Enterocytozoon bieneusi, Cyclospora cayetanensis and Eimeria spp. in wastewater and sewage in Guangzhou, China. Parasites Vectors 2021;14:1-10.
6. Ryan UM, Feng Y, Fayer R, Xiao L. Taxonomy and molecular epidemiology of Cryptosporidium and Giardia–a 50 year perspective (1971–2021). Int J Parasitol 2021;51(13-14):1099-119.
7. Li S, Wang P, Zhu XQ, et al. Prevalence and genotypes/subtypes of Enterocytozoon bieneusi and Blastocystis sp. in different breeds of cattle in Jiangxi Province, southeastern China. Infect Genet Evol 2022;98:e105216.
8. Li W, Feng Y, Zhang L, Xiao L. Potential impacts of host specificity on zoonotic or interspecies transmission of Enterocytozoon bieneusi. Infect Genet Evolut 2019;75:e104033.
9. Guo Y, Ryan U, Feng Y, Xiao L. Association of common zoonotic pathogens with concentrated animal feeding operations. Front Microbiol 2022;12:1-12.
10. Singh BK, Sharan S, Jaiswal NK, Kumar R. A Study on the prevalence of Giardia lamblia infection in children among the population of Dhanbad, a coal field area. Int J Curr Microbiol App Sci 2018;7(7):3552-5.
11. Cacciò SM, Lalle M, Svärd SG. Host specificity in the Giardia duodenalis species complex. Infect Genet Evol 2018;66:335-45.
12. Ryan U, Zahedi A. Molecular epidemiology of giardiasis from a veterinary perspective. Adv Parasitol 2019;106:209-54.
13. Pineda CO, Leal DA, Fiuza VR, et al. Toxoplasmagondii oocysts, Giardia cysts and Cryptosporidium oocysts in outdoor swimming pools in Brazil. Zoonoses Public Health 2020;67(7):785-95.
14. Javanmard E, Nemati S, Sharifdini M, et al. The first report and molecular analysis of Enterocytozoon bieneusi from raccoon (Procyon lotor) in north of Iran. J Eukaryot Microbiol 2020;67(3):359-68.
15. Jian Y, Zhang X, Li X, et al. Occurrence of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in wild birds from Qinghai Lake on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China. Parasitol Res 2021;120:615-28.
16. Feng Y, Xiao L. Zoonotic potential and molecular epidemiology of Giardia species and giardiasis. Clin Microbiol Rev 2011;24(1):110-40.
17. Santín M, Fayer R. Microsporidiosis: Enterocytozoon bieneusi in domesticated and wild animals. Res Vet Sci 2011;90(3):363-71.
18. Alves M, Xiao L, Lemos V, et al. Occurrence and molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium spp. in mammals and reptiles at the Lisbon Zoo. Parasitol Res 2005;97:108-12.
19. Matsubayashi M, Takami K, Kimata I, et al. Survey of Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia spp. infections in various animals at a zoo in Japan. J Zoo Wildl Med 2005;36(2):331-5.
20. Karim MR, Dong H, Li T, et al. Predomination and new genotypes of Enterocytozoon bieneusi in captive nonhuman primates in zoos in China: high genetic diversity and zoonotic significance. PLoS One 2015;10(2):1-14.
21. Beck R, Sprong H, Bata I, et al. Prevalence and molecular typing of Giardia spp. in captive mammals at the zoo of Zagreb, Croatia. Vet Parasitol 2011;175(1-2):40-6.
22. Palmer CS, Traub RJ, Robertson ID, et al. Determining the zoonotic significance of Giardia and Cryptosporidium in Australian dogs and cats. Vet Parasitol 2008;154(1-2):142-7
23. Ye J, Xiao L, Li J, et al. Occurrence of human-pathogenic Enterocytozoon bieneusi, Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium genotypes in laboratory macaques in Guangxi, China. Parasitol Int 2014;63(1):132-7.