Giardia duodenalis trophozoites isolated from a parrot (Cacatua galerita) colonize the small intestinal tracts of domestic kittens and lambs
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This study examines the ability of Giardia duodenalis trophozoites, isolated from a wild bird, to colonize the intestinal tracts of companion animals (kittens) and domestic ruminants (lambs). Trophozoites colonized the intestinal tracts of intraduodenally inoculated animals as demonstrated by increasing parasite burdens within the duodenum and jejunum and by fecal passage of cysts within 4 days post-inoculation. The pathogenesis of the trophozoites was further investigated in kittens. In these animals, infection significantly reduced jejunal brush border microvillous length and density, which resulted in a loss of overall epithelial brush border surface area. This injury was associated with the production of diarrhea in four of five infected kittens. These findings indicate that some bird species may carry G. duodenalis that represent a possible health threat to companion animals and livestock. Our results describe the first successful colonization of avian-derived G. duodenalis trophozoites in the small intestines of domestic kittens and lambs.
Veterinary Parasitology: an international scientific journal