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  • Author or Editor: Franz C. Rulofson x
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Objective—To evaluate fecal shedding of Giardia duodenalis, Cryptosporidium parvum, Salmonella organisms, and Escherichia coli O157:H7 from llamas in California with respect to host factors and management practices.

Animals—354 llamas from 33 facilities.

Procedure—Fecal specimens were collected and examined for G duodenalis and C parvum by means of immunofluorescent microscopy. Salmonella organisms were cultured by placing feces into selenite enrichment broth followed by selective media. Escherichia coli O157:H7 was cultured by use of modified tryptocase soy broth followed by sorbitol MacConkey agar, with suspect colonies confirmed by means of immunofluorescent microscopy.

Results—12 of 354 fecal specimens (3.4%) had G duodenalis cysts. Younger llamas (crias) were more likely to be shedding cysts, compared with older llamas. Farm-level factors that increased the risk of shedding were large numbers of yearlings on the property (> 10), smaller pen sizes, large numbers of crias born during the previous year (> 10), and large pen or pasture populations (> 20). None of the 354 fecal specimens had C parvum oocysts. Seventy-six (from 7 facilities) and 192 (from 22 facilities) llamas were tested for Salmonella organisms and E coli O157:H7, respectively. All fecal specimens had negative results for these bacteria.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Shedding of G duodenalis was primarily limited to crias 1 to 4 months old. Llamas from properties with large numbers of crias born in the previous year, resulting in large numbers of yearlings in the current year, were at greater risk of infection. In addition, housing llamas in smaller pens or pastures and managing llamas and crias in large groups also increased the risk of G duodenalis shedding. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:637–642)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research