Cryptosporidium parvum is a common contaminant in surface waters and presents significant problems for the water industry, public health and agriculture. Consequently, ascertaining the contaminating source of waterborne oocysts is of paramount importance. Based on currently available information, isolates of C. parvum can be differentiated into at least two genotypes using polymorphic genetic markers: genotype 1, to date isolated almost exclusively from humans, and genotype 2 isolates from humans and many other animals. Differentiation into these two genotypes has been based on either restriction fragment length polymorphisms or sequencing of PCR amplified gene fragments. The objective of this study was to evaluate the reproducibility of genotyping methods using a single isolate of C. parvum. A 620 bp fragment of the C. parvum β-tubulin gene, generated by PCR from multiple aliquots of a single preparation of oocysts of the Iowa isolate, was sequenced. Significant sequence heterogeneity was detected within this single isolate; there was more sequence variation between clones originating from the Iowa isolate (up to 0.9 %) than between individual clones originating from different isolates of C. parvum. Over 6 % of the β-tubulin gene sequence positions (38 out of 620 bp) were variable when comparing multiple clones from the one isolate. The results indicated that while the various procedures used for genotyping isolates may introduce some sequence errors, the Iowa isolate used for this investigation appeared to be composed of multiple sub-genotypes. While none of the sequence variations resulted in clones of the Iowa isolate (genotype 2) being mis-identified as genotype 1, the results have important implications if minor sequence variations are to be used for subtyping isolates and drawing conclusions regarding the origin of, or relationships between, C. parvum oocysts in water and the community.
Quantitative Microbiology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 8, 2004
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