Multilocus sequence typing and genetic structure of Cryptosporidium hominis from children in Kolkata, India

Wangeci Gatei, Pradeep Das, Phalguni Dutta, Abhik Sen, Vitaliano Cama, Altaf A. Lal, Lihua Xiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


Endemicity of cryptosporidiosis in India has been documented with little genetic characterization of the parasites. Fifty Cryptosporidium-positive specimens collected between 2001 and 2004 from pediatric patients in Kolkata, India were analyzed for parasite genetic structure using multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Genotype analyses showed the presence of Cryptosporidium hominis, Cryptosporidium meleagridis and Cryptosporidium felis in 49, 2 and 1 patients, respectively (two patients had mixed infections of C. hominis and C. meleagridis). To assess the extent of genetic heterogeneity of C. hominis, minisatellites, microsatellites and polymorphic markers in three different chromosomes were sequenced, including genes encoding the 60 kDa glycoprotein (GP60), a 47 kDa protein (CP47), a mucin-like protein (Mucin1), a serine repeat antigen (MSC6-7), and a 56 kDa trans-membrane protein (CP56) in chromosome 6, the 70 kDa heat shock protein (HSP70) in chromosome 2, and a T-rich gene fragment (Chrom3T) in chromosome 3. Population sub-structure of C. hominis based on multilocus gene sequences showed that there were 25 multilocus subtypes defined by combined sequence length and nucleotide polymorphism, which formed four distinct groups in this population. Significant intra- and inter-genic linkage disequilibria were observed with minimum recombination or expansion of limited subtypes, all indicative of a mostly clonal population structure. The results highlight the importance of high resolution MLST in studying Cryptosporidium population sub-structure especially when length polymorphism may be inadequate in identifying unique subtypes. The significance of the diverse MLST within C. hominis in relation to geographical and temporal factors and clinical manifestations of disease warrants further investigations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-205
Number of pages9
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Cryptosporidium
  • Gene diversity
  • Linkage disequilibrium
  • Multilocus sequence typing
  • Population genetics
  • Population structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases


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