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      Concurrent infections of Giardia and Cryptosporidium on two Ohio farms with calf diarrhea


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          Giardia and Cryptosporidium infections were diagnosed by immunofluorescence assay on two Ohio dairy farms with calf diarrhea problems. On the first farm, all nine diarrheic calves sampled once in June had Giardia cysts in their feces. On the second farm, all five diarrheic calves examined at the beginning of the diarrhea outbreak in March had Giardia infection. When resampled, the overall infection rate of normal and diarrheic calves was 82.4% in April, and 40.0% in August after the diarrhea subsided. Positive calves ranged from 11 to 164 days of age, and 22.2% of them were as young as 1 to 3 weeks of age. Eight of nine diarrheic calves (88.8%) on the first farm had Cryptosporidium infection. Lower infection rates (<30%) were found on the second farm. Six of 10 positive calves were 11–22 days old, three were 164–177 days old, and one was 71 days old. Five of these 10 positive calves were also positive for Giardia infection.

          Five diarrheic calves on the northern Ohio farm and one diarrheic calf on the central Ohio farm were treated with metronidazole after failing to respond to antibiotic therapy. Clinical improvement was observed in all calves within 48 h after the start of treatment. The high Giardia infection rates and intensities in calves of a wide age range and the clinical response to metronidazole suggest that Giardia infection contributed to the outbreaks of diarrhea.

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          Most cited references30

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          Aetiology of diarrhoea in young calves.

          Faeces samples were collected from 302 untreated calves on the day of onset of diarrhoea and from 49 healthy calves at 32 farms experiencing outbreaks of diarrhoea. At least four diarrhoeic calves were sampled on each farm, and samples were examined for rotavirus, coronavirus, cryptosporidium, enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli and Salmonella species. Although all these enteropathogens were excreted more frequently by the diarrhoeic than by the healthy calves, the difference was significant overall only for rotavirus. Rotavirus was excreted by 18 per cent of healthy calves, coronavirus by 4 per cent, cryptosporidium by 14 per cent, and no enterotoxigenic E coli or Salmonella species were detected. The most common enteropathogen in diarrhoeic calves was rotavirus, which was excreted by more than half the diarrhoeic calves on 18 farms. Coronavirus was excreted at a similar high prevalence on one farm, cryptosporidium on five farms and enterotoxigenic E coli on three farms. Concurrent infection with two or more microorganisms occurred in 15 per cent of diarrhoeic calves. There was no difference in the isolation rate of campylobacters between diarrhoeic and healthy calves.
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            Microbiology of calf diarrhoea in southern Britain.

            Faeces samples from calves with diarrhoea in 45 outbreaks were examined for six enteropathogens. Rotavirus and coronavirus were detected by ELISA in 208 (42 per cent) and 69 (14 per cent) of 490 calves respectively; calici-like viruses were detected by electron microscopy in 14 of 132 calves (11 per cent). Cryptosporidium were detected in 106 of 465 (23 per cent), Salmonella species in 58 of 490 (12 per cent) and enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli bearing the K99 adhesin (K99+ E coli) in nine of 310 calves (3 per cent). In the faeces of 20 per cent of calves with diarrhoea more than one enteropathogen was detected; in 31 per cent no enteropathogen was found. Faces samples from 385 healthy calves in the same outbreaks were also examined. There was a significant statistical association of disease with the presence of rotavirus, coronavirus, Cryptosporidium and Salmonella species (P less than 0.001). Healthy calves were not examined for calici-like viruses and the association of K99+ E coli with disease was not analysed because there were too few positive samples. Rotavirus infections were more common in dairy herds and single suckler beef herds whereas Salmonella infections were more often found in calf rearing units. Cryptosporidium were more common in single and multiple suckler beef herds. K99+ E coli were found in one dairy herd and one multiple suckler beef herd both with unhygienic calving accommodation. Variations in coronavirus detection among different farm types were not statistically significant. In this survey rotavirus was the most commonly detected agent in calf diarrhoea and Cryptosporidium were found in approximately one quarter of affected calves. Infection with Salmonella species was widespread, but K99+ E coli infections were less common in the United Kingdom than in other countries.
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              The biology of Giardia spp.

              Lorne Adam (1991)
              Gardia spp. are flagellated protozoans that parasitize the small intestines of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. The infectious cysts begin excysting in the acidic environment of the stomach and become trophozoites (the vegetative form). The trophozoites attach to the intestinal mucosa through the suction generated by a ventral disk and cause diarrhea and malabsorption by mechanisms that are not well understood. Giardia spp. have a number of unique features, including a predominantly anaerobic metabolism, complete dependence on salvage of exogenous nucleotides, a limited ability to synthesize and degrade carbohydrates and lipids, and two nuclei that are equal by all criteria that have been tested. The small size and unique sequence of G. lamblia rRNA molecules have led to the proposal that Giardia is the most primitive eukaryotic organism. Three Giardia spp. have been identified by light lamblia, G. muris, and G. agilis, but electron microscopy has allowed further species to be described within the G. lamblia group, some of which have been substantiated by differences in the rDNA. Animal models and human infections have led to the conclusion that intestinal infection is controlled primarily through the humoral immune system (T-cell dependent in the mouse model). A major immunogenic cysteine-rich surface antigen is able to vary in vitro and in vivo in the course of an infection and may provide a means of evading the host immune response or perhaps a means of adapting to different intestinal environments.

                Author and article information

                Vet Parasitol
                Vet. Parasitol
                Veterinary Parasitology
                Published by Elsevier B.V.
                13 November 2002
                December 1993
                13 November 2002
                : 51
                : 1
                : 41-48
                [a ]Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, The Ohio State University, 1900 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
                [b ]Department of Veterinary Clinical Science, The Ohio State University College, 601 Vernon Tharp Street, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
                Author notes
                []Corresponding author at: Malaria Branch, F-12, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.
                Copyright © 1993 Published by Elsevier B.V.

                Since January 2020 Elsevier has created a COVID-19 resource centre with free information in English and Mandarin on the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The COVID-19 resource centre is hosted on Elsevier Connect, the company's public news and information website. Elsevier hereby grants permission to make all its COVID-19-related research that is available on the COVID-19 resource centre - including this research content - immediately available in PubMed Central and other publicly funded repositories, such as the WHO COVID database with rights for unrestricted research re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for free by Elsevier for as long as the COVID-19 resource centre remains active.

                : 12 February 1993

                giardia spp., cryptosporidium spp.,cattle-protozoa,diarrhoea,epidemiology-protozoa


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