Human and animal Cryptosporidium and Giardia data will be collected from Europe: <ol> <LI> To harmonise molecular methods useful to detect these protozoa and to distinguish human from non-human pathogens;
<LI> To establish, for Giardia, and to maintain, for both Giardia and Cryptosporidium, repositories of standards (nucleic acids and cysts/oocysts).
<LI> To perform validation tests for both Cryptosporidium and Giardia in the participating laboratories using a panel of cloned DNA fragments (plasmids) prepared from reference isolates representing the major human and animal pathogens
<LI> To identify an agreed panel of highly discriminatory markers for the analysis of species, genotypes and subtypes
<LI> To develop online databases to store and analyse the data produced during the project
The specific tasks of the workpackage were discussed by its partners at a meeting at Bilthoven, The Netherlands in December 2005 and follows on from a previous Med-Vet-Net workpackage (WP12) focussing on Cryptosporidium. <P>
To evaluate the level of expertise, bibliographic surveys have been performed by all partners in their respective countries. This has enabled the collection of updated and original information about giardiasis in Europe. The data collected are being extensively used as source of information for specific sections of a Giardia electronic database. This online dynamic database is currently being developed by institute partners, HPA and RIVM. Reference material has been collected by institute partners, ISS and DFVF, to ensure the establishment of two repositories, and isolates have been characterized at the species level using molecular methods, and stored as aliquots of nucleic acids. Validation studies are being performed using PCR fragments cloned into plasmids (to overcome the problem of limited availability of reference DNA) and at least two different PCR methods for each parasite species are in use. <P>
The results of these studies will permit the identification of a panel of discriminatory markers for the analysis of species, genotypes and subtypes of these parasites.