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Title: Cryptosporidium infection in cats : epidemiology and cross transmission studies
Author: Mtambo, Mkumbukwa Madundo Angelo
ISNI:       0000 0001 3428 429X
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 1992
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Cryptosporidium species are important gastrointestinal and respiratory coccidian parasites which affect a wide range of host species including man. The aim of the studies described in this thesis was to determine the prevalence of Cryptosporidium infection in cats in the Glasgow area. Staining and concentration techniques for detection of Cryptosporidium oocysts in cat faecal specimens were first evaluated and used in the subsequent prevalence study. Modified Ziehl-Neelsen (MZN) and auramine phenol (A-P) techniques were found to be suitable for the screening of cat faeces for Cryptosporidium oocysts, and a fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) labelled monoclonal antibody (MAb) was used for confirmation of the diagnosis. Formol-ether (F-E) sedimentation and sucrose flotation techniques were effective for the concentration of Cryptosporidium oocysts in cat faecal specimens. In the prevalence study, 26 out of 294 (8.8%) cats from Glasgow and the surrounding area, were positive for Cryptosporidium infection. Infection was more common in kittens than in adult cats, and in farm and feral than in domestic cats. However, 74% of the serum samples from cats in the same area were positive for specific anti-Cryptosporidium antibody. The prevalence of IgM and IgA isotypes was higher in sick than in healthy groups of cats. Experimental transmission studies using Cryptosporidium spp. isolated from a farm cat into lambs and mice suggested that farm cats may be infected with the same Cryptosporidium isolates infecting other animals and that infection may be transmitted between various animal species on farms leading to a wide spread of the parasite. This thesis concludes that Cryptosporidium infection is common in cats in the Glasgow area and that these animals should be regarded as a potential reservoir of infection for other animals and humans, in particular children and immunodeficient individuals.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Parasite infections