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Genotypic Characterization of Cryptosporidium hominis from Water Samples in São Paulo, Brazil

Ronalda S. AraújoFaculdade de Saúde Pública da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Seção de Enteroparasitoses do Instituto Adolfo Lutz, São Paulo, Brazil; Companhia de Tecnologia de Saneamento Ambiental do Estado de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

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Milena DropaFaculdade de Saúde Pública da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Seção de Enteroparasitoses do Instituto Adolfo Lutz, São Paulo, Brazil; Companhia de Tecnologia de Saneamento Ambiental do Estado de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

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Licia N. FernandesFaculdade de Saúde Pública da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Seção de Enteroparasitoses do Instituto Adolfo Lutz, São Paulo, Brazil; Companhia de Tecnologia de Saneamento Ambiental do Estado de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

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Terezinha T. CarvalhoFaculdade de Saúde Pública da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Seção de Enteroparasitoses do Instituto Adolfo Lutz, São Paulo, Brazil; Companhia de Tecnologia de Saneamento Ambiental do Estado de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

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Maria Inês Z. SatoFaculdade de Saúde Pública da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Seção de Enteroparasitoses do Instituto Adolfo Lutz, São Paulo, Brazil; Companhia de Tecnologia de Saneamento Ambiental do Estado de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

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Rodrigo M. SoaresFaculdade de Saúde Pública da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Seção de Enteroparasitoses do Instituto Adolfo Lutz, São Paulo, Brazil; Companhia de Tecnologia de Saneamento Ambiental do Estado de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

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Glavur R. MattéFaculdade de Saúde Pública da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Seção de Enteroparasitoses do Instituto Adolfo Lutz, São Paulo, Brazil; Companhia de Tecnologia de Saneamento Ambiental do Estado de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

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Maria Helena MattéFaculdade de Saúde Pública da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Seção de Enteroparasitoses do Instituto Adolfo Lutz, São Paulo, Brazil; Companhia de Tecnologia de Saneamento Ambiental do Estado de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

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The protozoan parasite Cryptosporidium has emerged as one of the most important water contaminants, causing waterborne outbreaks of diarrheal diseases worldwide. The small size of oocysts under the microscope and the possibility of changes in characteristics of oocysts, mainly in environmental samples, make the taxonomy of the genus difficult if morphologic characteristics are considered. This limitation encouraged the application of molecular methods to identify this microorganism. The aim of this study was to detect and identify by nested-polymerase chain reaction oocysts of Cryptosporidium present in water samples in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Water samples were concentrated through a membrane filter, DNA was extracted by using a standard technique, and both amplification reactions used forward and reverse oligonucleotides that were complementary to Cryptosporidium 18S ribosomal RNA gene sequences. Thirty water samples from different sites of collection in the state of São Paulo were evaluated. Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected in 30% of the samples. By genoptyping, C. hominis and Cryptosporidium sp. were identified in recreational water and C. meleagridis was identified in surface water samples. This is the first report of C. hominis in environmental samples in Brazil. Although identification of Cryptosporidium is still a difficult task, molecular methods are essential for specific identification and are a helpful tool to aid to understand the epidemiology of this parasite in Brazil.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Maria Helena Matté, School of Public Health, University of São Paulo, Avenida Doutor Arnaldo 715, Cerqueira Cesar, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil 01246-904. E-mail: mhmatte@usp.br

Financial support: This study was supported by Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (grants 2005/03783-0 and 2006/01532-2).

Authors' addresses: Ronalda S. Araújo, Faculdade de Saúde Pública da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil and Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil, E-mail: ronalda@usp.br. Licia N. Fernandes, Glavur R. Matté, Milena Dropa, and Maria Helena Matté, Faculdade de Saúde Pública da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil, E-mails: licianatal@usp.br, grmatte@usp.br, milenadropa@usp.br, and mhmatte@usp.br. Terezinha T. Carvalho, Seção de Enteroparasitoses do Instituto Adolfo Lutz, São Paulo, Brazil, E-mail: ttravassos@ial.sp.gov.br. Maria Inês Z. Sato, Companhia de Tecnologia de Saneamento Ambiental do Estado de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil, E-mail: mariaz@cetesbnet.gov.br. Rodrigo M. Soares, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil, E-mail: rosoares@usp.br.

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