Feces from 62 beavers (Castor canadensis) in Massachusetts were examined by fluorescence microscopy (IFA) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for Microsporidia species, Cryptosporidium spp., and Giardia spp. between January 2002 and December 2004. PCR-positive specimens were further examined by gene sequencing. Protist parasites were detected in 6.4% of the beavers. All were subadults and kits. Microsporidia species were not detected. Giardia spp. was detected by IFA from four beavers; Cryptosporidium spp. was also detected by IFA from two of these beavers. However, gene sequence data for the ssrRNA gene from these two Cryptosporidium spp.-positive beavers were inconclusive in identifying the species. Nucleotide sequences of the TPI, ssrRNA, and ??-giardin genes for Giardia spp. (deposited in GenBank) indicated that the four beavers were excreting Giardia duodenalis Assemblage B, the zoonotic genotype representing a potential source of waterborne Giardia spp. cysts. Copyright 2006 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.
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Prevalence of Microsporidia, Cryptosporidium spp., and Giardia spp. in beavers (Castor canadensis) in Massachusetts