Cryptosporidiosis in rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus): a mini-review and evidence of occurrence in farmed rabbits in Ibadan, Nigeria
Cryptosporidium infection is an emerging zoonosis worldwide, with several reports in humans, livestock and wildlife. However, there is the paucity of information on its occurrence in rabbits. This study reviewed available information on Cryptosporidiosis in rabbits and conducted a preliminary investigation on the occurrence of the infection in rabbits in Ibadan, Oyo state, Nigeria. Samples were randomly collected from 311 asymptomatic rabbits housed in 92 cages from two farms in Ibadan and were investigated for the presence of Cryptosporidium oocysts using a modified acid-fast staining technique. Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected in rabbits housed in 78 (25%) of the cages. There was no significant association (p>0.05) with age, sex, breed and location of farms. The findings of this preliminary study provide evidence that rabbits farmed in studied area are exposed to Cryptosporidium oocysts and also suggest that non-diarrhoeic rabbits could serve as reservoirs. This study, which to the best of our understanding is the first to report the occurrence of Cryptosporidium oocysts in Nigerian rabbits, recommends further nationwide surveillance of Cryptosporidium species in rabbits and molecular characterization of circulating genotypes and subtypes.