Cryptosporidium spp. is a group of protozoans that cause diarrheal disease in both humans and animals. In Taiwan, very little information is available about the epidemiology of Cryptosporidium spp. in domesticated animals, especially in Eastern Taiwan where agriculture is one of the main industries. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the occurrence of Cryptosporidium spp. in livestock in Hualien Country of Eastern Taiwan and identify their genotypes. Excrements from dogs (n = 81), cattle (n = 156), and pigs (n = 142) were randomly collected from different pastures or farm in Hualien Country. Microscopic examination and nested PCR were performed on all samples and both showed identical results, with 4.94% (4/81) of dogs, 24.36% (38/156) of cattle, and 16.20% (23/142) of pigs being infected with Cryptosporidium species. Positive samples were then sequenced and analyzed. DNA sequencing revealed that all four positive samples isolated from dogs were Cryptosporidium canis (C. canis); 38 positive samples from cattle were identified as C. bovis (8/38), C. canis (1/38), C. ryanae (4/38), and C. scrofarum (25/38); and 22 positive samples isolated from pigs were identified as C. scrofarum while one was identified as C. suis. In addition, the infective rates of animals from indoor farms (57.14% of all positive samples) are much higher than the rates from pastures. This study provided evidence of the occurrence of Cryptosporidium spp. in Hualien country, and farming conditions largely affect their infection rates. Therefore, precautions should be made to control Cryptosporidium spp. transmission.
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