The prevalence of Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium spp. was determined for ringed and bearded seals harvested for food in the Nunavik region in northern Quebec, Canada. Flow cytometric results demonstrated that G. duodenalis was present in the intestinal contents of 80% of the ringed seals and 75% of the bearded seals tested, while Cryptosporidium spp. were present in 9% of the ringed seals and none of the bearded seals. Prevalence of both parasites was highest in animals less than 1 yr of age. Giardia sp. isolates from ringed seals were identified as G. duodenalis Assemblage B, which is commonly identified in human infections. The high prevalence of G. duodenalis in ringed seals, and the presence of Assemblage B in these animals, highlights the potential for zoonotic transmission to the Inuit people, who consume dried seal intestines and uncooked seal meat.
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