Prevalence and risk factors for Cryptosporidium spp. infection in young calves

Brook, E., Hart, C. A., French, N. and Christley, R. (2008) Prevalence and risk factors for Cryptosporidium spp. infection in young calves. Veterinary Parasitology, 152(1-2), pp. 46-52. (doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2007.12.003) (PMID:18207328)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


A cross-sectional study was designed to investigate the prevalence and risk factors for Cryptosporidium infection in young calves. Forty-one farms in a discrete, densely farmed 100 km2 area of North West England were visited over a 3-week period and 215 faecal samples were collected from young calves. Farms were not selected on the basis of existing scour problems. At the time of sampling, several investigator-observed variables were recorded at the pen, animal and stool levels. Samples were screened and 60/215 were confirmed as positive by PCR of the 18S rRNA gene. Risk factors for infection were explored using multilevel multivariable logistic regression with farm as a random effect. Age was significant in the final model, with a higher risk of infection in calves aged 8–21 days, when compared to those aged 0–7 days. The depth of the bedding was also significant in the final model, with calves housed in bedding 11–15 cm deep being at lower risk of infection than those on beds 0–5 cm deep. Consistency of the faeces was highly correlated with age and colour of the faeces and was not significantly associated with infection when these variables, and clustering at farm-level, were accounted for. This is interesting as Cryptosporidium is considered to be a primary enteropathogen. The results suggest that intervention strategies should be targeted at calves under 21 days old. These animals represent a significant reservoir of infection on the farm and may also pose a risk to public health, assuming that the species and genotypes shed are zoonotic pathogens.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hotchkiss, Dr Emily
Authors: Brook, E., Hart, C. A., French, N., and Christley, R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Veterinary Parasitology
ISSN (Online):1873-2550
Published Online:08 December 2007

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record