Occurrence of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in wild birds from Qinghai Lake on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China

Yingna Jian, Xueyong Zhang, Xiuping Li, Chad Schou, Iris Charalambidou, Liqing Ma, Panagiotis Karanis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cryptosporidium and Giardia are important intestinal zoonotic pathogens that can infect various hosts and cause diarrhoeal diseases. There are few reports of the epidemiological prevalence and molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in wild birds around Qinghai Lake and in the surrounding areas on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, Northwest China. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia duodenalis genotypes and their epidemiological prevalence in wild birds by PCR amplification. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a variety of Cryptosporidium spp. and G. duodenalis infections in wild birds from that area, with overall prevalence rates of 8.98% (61/679) and 3.39% (23/679), respectively. Furthermore, PCR sequencing confirmed the presence of Cryptosporidium baileyi (n = 3), Cryptosporidium parvum (n = 58), and G. duodenalis assemblage B (n = 19) and E (n = 4) in wild birds from the areas around Qinghai Lake. The results of the present study demonstrated the wide distribution of Cryptosporidium and Giardia among wild birds, which has potential public health significance. Moreover, the study findings also provided useful molecular epidemiological data for monitoring and investigating the two parasitic protozoa in wild animals and surrounding environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-628
Number of pages14
JournalParasitology Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Cryptosporidium
  • Giardia
  • Molecular characterization
  • Prevalence
  • Qinghai Lake (China)
  • Wild birds


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