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Canine cryptosporidiosis

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Quantitative analysis of the load of Cryptosporidium sp. responsible for digestive troubles in cat and dog.
Cryptosporidium sp. are coccidia responsible for chronic diarrhoea (small intestine & large bowel). Coinfections with Giardia are possible in cats and dogs, and with Tritrichomonas foetus in cats.

Reasons for testing

- Cryptosporidiosis diagnostics in dogs with digestive disorders
- Status determination (shedding assessment)
- Treatment monitoring

Test characteristics

- Real-time PCR, quantitative PCR
- Limit of detection
- Quantitative analysis (protozoan load)

Diagnostic samples

  • Rectal swab (dry swab without any preservative medium)
  • As shedding can be intermittent, a false negative result can be obtained in case of an analysis on a unique sample. In order to get a reliable diagnostics, Scanelis recommends:
    • either, at least 3 consecutive analyses (if the first two analyses are negative) on samples collected one week appart,
    • either a unique analysis on a pool of 3 to 5 rectal swabs taken on two days intervals and stored in a fridge (3-5 samples sent together in a same package). In this option the diagnostics is delayed but covers a longer period in order to increase the chance for the samples to be collected during a shedding period.

Result interpretation

- Negative result: absence of these coccidia or quantity lower than the limit of detection. A negative result does not exclude an asymptomatic carrier status because the rectal shedding of Cryptosporidium is intermittent. Thus, serial testing or testing a pool of samples taken few days appart is necessary to confirm the absence of Cryptosporidium sp. (see protocol in chapter Diagnostic samples)
- Positive result : presence of coccidia in the sample(s). Positive results should be interpreted in the clinical setting and the epidemiological context and depending on the duration of the clinical signs.
As the Scanelis Cryptosporidium sp. PCR is a quantitative assay, it is interesting for a treatment monitoring, in order to assess the efficacy (if the shedded load is decreased).

Do not hesitate to contact us for an interpretation of a quantitative result.