Giardia and Cryptosporidium infections in Danish cats: risk factors and zoonotic potential

Heidi Enemark*, Trine Parsberg Starostka, Birgit Agerholm Larsen, Nao Takeuchi-Storm, Stig M. Thamsborg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Giardia and Cryptosporidium infections are common in cats, but knowledge is limited about their clinical importance, risk factors, and the role of cats as a reservoir for human infections. Here, we collected faeces and questionnaire data from 284 cats from shelters and veterinary clinics in the Copenhagen Metropolitan Region (= study population). Additionally, 33 samples were analysed separately from catteries with gastrointestinal clinical signs (= cases). (Oo-)cysts were quantified by immunofluorescence microscopy. All Giardia (n = 34) and Cryptosporidium (n = 29) positive samples were analysed by sequencing of the 18S rRNA, gdh and hsp70 loci, and co-infections were detected by McMaster/inverted microscopy. In the study population, 7.0% and 6.7% were positive for Giardia and Cryptosporidium respectively; 48.5% and 36.4% of the breeder cats (cases) were infected. Increased odds of diarrhoea were demonstrated in Giardia (p = 0.0008) and Cryptosporidium (p = 0.034) positive cats. For Giardia, the odds were positively correlated with infection intensity. Co-infection with Cryptosporidium (OR 12.79; p 
Original languageEnglish
JournalParasitology Research
Number of pages12
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

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