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Cryptosporidium infection in a veal calf cohort in France: molecular characterization of species in a longitudinal study

Cryptosporidium infection in a veal calf cohort in France: molecular characterization of species in a longitudinal study

Follet et al. Veterinary Research 2011, 42:116

Abstract :

Feces from 142 animals were collected on 15 farms in the region of Brittany, France. Each sample was directly collected from the rectum of the animal and identified with the ear tag number. Animals were sampled three times, at 5, 15 and 22 weeks of age. After DNA extraction from stool samples, nested PCR was performed to amplify partial 18S-rDNA and 60 kDa glycoprotein genes of Cryptosporidium. The parasite was detected on all farms. One hundred out of 142 calves (70.4%) were found to be parasitized by Cryptosporidium. Amplified fragments were sequenced for Cryptosporidium species identification and revealed the presence of C. parvum (43.8%), C. ryanae (28.5%), and C. bovis (27%). One animal was infected with Cryptosporidium ubiquitum. The prevalence of these species was related to the age of the animal. C. parvum caused 86.7% of Cryptosporidium infections in 5-week-old calves but only 1.7% in 15-week-old animals. The analysis of the results showed that animals could be infected successively by C. parvum, C. ryanae, and C. bovis for the study period. C. parvum gp60 genotyping identifies 6 IIa subtypes of which 74.5% were represented by IIaA15G2R1. This work confirms previous studies in other countries showing that zoonotic C. parvum is the dominant species seen in young calves.