Field testing of prophylactic measures against Cryptosporidium parvum infection in calves in a California dairy herd

James A. Harp From the USDA, Agricultural Research Service, National Animal Disease Center, Metabolic Diseases and Immunology Research Unit, Ames, 1A 50010-0070 (Harp, Goff); Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center, University of Califomia-Davis, Tulare, CA 93274 (Jardon, Atwill, Zylstra, Checel); and Universita di (L’Aquila, Cattedra de Malattie Infettive, L’Aquila, Italy (De Simone).

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Phillip Jardon From the USDA, Agricultural Research Service, National Animal Disease Center, Metabolic Diseases and Immunology Research Unit, Ames, 1A 50010-0070 (Harp, Goff); Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center, University of Califomia-Davis, Tulare, CA 93274 (Jardon, Atwill, Zylstra, Checel); and Universita di (L’Aquila, Cattedra de Malattie Infettive, L’Aquila, Italy (De Simone).

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E. Rob Atwill From the USDA, Agricultural Research Service, National Animal Disease Center, Metabolic Diseases and Immunology Research Unit, Ames, 1A 50010-0070 (Harp, Goff); Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center, University of Califomia-Davis, Tulare, CA 93274 (Jardon, Atwill, Zylstra, Checel); and Universita di (L’Aquila, Cattedra de Malattie Infettive, L’Aquila, Italy (De Simone).

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Mike Zylstra From the USDA, Agricultural Research Service, National Animal Disease Center, Metabolic Diseases and Immunology Research Unit, Ames, 1A 50010-0070 (Harp, Goff); Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center, University of Califomia-Davis, Tulare, CA 93274 (Jardon, Atwill, Zylstra, Checel); and Universita di (L’Aquila, Cattedra de Malattie Infettive, L’Aquila, Italy (De Simone).

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Stephanie Checel From the USDA, Agricultural Research Service, National Animal Disease Center, Metabolic Diseases and Immunology Research Unit, Ames, 1A 50010-0070 (Harp, Goff); Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center, University of Califomia-Davis, Tulare, CA 93274 (Jardon, Atwill, Zylstra, Checel); and Universita di (L’Aquila, Cattedra de Malattie Infettive, L’Aquila, Italy (De Simone).

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Jesse P. Goff From the USDA, Agricultural Research Service, National Animal Disease Center, Metabolic Diseases and Immunology Research Unit, Ames, 1A 50010-0070 (Harp, Goff); Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center, University of Califomia-Davis, Tulare, CA 93274 (Jardon, Atwill, Zylstra, Checel); and Universita di (L’Aquila, Cattedra de Malattie Infettive, L’Aquila, Italy (De Simone).

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Claudio De Simone From the USDA, Agricultural Research Service, National Animal Disease Center, Metabolic Diseases and Immunology Research Unit, Ames, 1A 50010-0070 (Harp, Goff); Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center, University of Califomia-Davis, Tulare, CA 93274 (Jardon, Atwill, Zylstra, Checel); and Universita di (L’Aquila, Cattedra de Malattie Infettive, L’Aquila, Italy (De Simone).

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Abstract

Objective

To test the ability of oral vaccination or probiotic treatment with lactic acid-producing bacteria to protect calves from Cryptosporidium parvum infection under field conditions.

Animals

134 Holstein calves born on a dairy farm where cryptosporidiosis was endemic.

Procedure

Calves were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatment groups at birth. Calves in the vaccine group received an oral dose of C parvum vaccine within several hours of birth. Calves in the bacteria group received an oral dose of lactic acid-producing bacteria daily for the first 10 days after birth. Control calves were not treated. All calves were monitored for diarrhea and fecal shedding of C parvum oocysts for 3 weeks.

Results

There were no significant differences in the incidence of diarrhea and oocyst shedding among the 3 groups.

Conclusions

Neither vaccination nor probiotic treatment was effective in preventing C parvum infection in calves under field conditions. High numbers of C parvum in the environment may have overwhelmed any potential benefits of these regimens. Further work is necessary to develop effective prophylaxis against C parvum under field conditions. (Am J Vet Res 1996;57:1586–1588)

Abstract

Objective

To test the ability of oral vaccination or probiotic treatment with lactic acid-producing bacteria to protect calves from Cryptosporidium parvum infection under field conditions.

Animals

134 Holstein calves born on a dairy farm where cryptosporidiosis was endemic.

Procedure

Calves were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatment groups at birth. Calves in the vaccine group received an oral dose of C parvum vaccine within several hours of birth. Calves in the bacteria group received an oral dose of lactic acid-producing bacteria daily for the first 10 days after birth. Control calves were not treated. All calves were monitored for diarrhea and fecal shedding of C parvum oocysts for 3 weeks.

Results

There were no significant differences in the incidence of diarrhea and oocyst shedding among the 3 groups.

Conclusions

Neither vaccination nor probiotic treatment was effective in preventing C parvum infection in calves under field conditions. High numbers of C parvum in the environment may have overwhelmed any potential benefits of these regimens. Further work is necessary to develop effective prophylaxis against C parvum under field conditions. (Am J Vet Res 1996;57:1586–1588)

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