First Detection of Cryptosporidium parvum in the Endemic Cyprus Mouflon (Ovis gmelini ophion)

Kyriacos A. Hasapis, Iris Charalambidou, Chad Schou, Catherine O’Dowd Phanis, Stefanie Kazamia, Nicolaos Kassinis, Eleftherios Hadjisterkotis, Panagiotis Karanis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Cryptosporidium is an intestinal zoonotic protozoan parasite that infects domesticated and wild animals. There are no reports on the prevalence and molecular characterisation of Cryptosporidium in the endemic Cyprus mouflon. The mouflon is strictly protected by national and international legislation. Its main distribution is Paphos State Forest and surrounding areas, where it may share the same water sources as free-ranging domestic goats. Therefore, the present study aimed to determine the prevalence of Cryptosporidium spp. and genotypes in mouflon and free-ranging goats within the mouflon range. Methods: Faecal samples of 70 mouflons and 34 free-ranging goats were screened for Cryptosporidium by PCR amplification and sequencing. Results: Only one sample (1/70) belonging to a mouflon was PCR positive for Cryptosporidium. Based on sequencing of the 18S rRNA locus, this species was identified as Cryptosporidium parvum (C. parvum). No positive sample was detected in the free-ranging goats (0/34). Conclusion: This is the first report on the molecular identification of this Cryptosporidium species in a Cyprus mouflon. The results indicate that the prevalence of Cryptosporidium in Cyprus mouflon is low.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Parasitologica
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Cryptosporidium parvum
  • Cyprus mouflon
  • Free-ranging goats
  • Wild sheep


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