Age, geographic, and temporal distribution of fecal shedding of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts in cow-calf herds

Edward R. Atwill From the Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center. School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Tulare, CA 93274 (Atwill); the Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital (Johnson) and Veterinary Medicine Extension (Klingborg), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616; the Cooperative Extension, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California, Woodland, CA 95695 (Veserat), Eureka, CA 95503 (Markegard), Santa Maria, CA 93455 (Jensen), Fairfield, CA 94533 (Pratt), Alturas, CA 96101 (Delmas), Quincy, CA 95971 (George), Redding, CA 96002 (Forero), Bakersfield, CA 93307 (Phillips), Red Bluff, CA 96080 (Barry), Madera, CA 93637 (McDougald), Bishop, CA 93514 (Gildersleeve), Placerville, CA 95667 (Frost).

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Eileen Johnson From the Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center. School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Tulare, CA 93274 (Atwill); the Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital (Johnson) and Veterinary Medicine Extension (Klingborg), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616; the Cooperative Extension, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California, Woodland, CA 95695 (Veserat), Eureka, CA 95503 (Markegard), Santa Maria, CA 93455 (Jensen), Fairfield, CA 94533 (Pratt), Alturas, CA 96101 (Delmas), Quincy, CA 95971 (George), Redding, CA 96002 (Forero), Bakersfield, CA 93307 (Phillips), Red Bluff, CA 96080 (Barry), Madera, CA 93637 (McDougald), Bishop, CA 93514 (Gildersleeve), Placerville, CA 95667 (Frost).

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Donald J. Klingborg From the Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center. School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Tulare, CA 93274 (Atwill); the Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital (Johnson) and Veterinary Medicine Extension (Klingborg), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616; the Cooperative Extension, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California, Woodland, CA 95695 (Veserat), Eureka, CA 95503 (Markegard), Santa Maria, CA 93455 (Jensen), Fairfield, CA 94533 (Pratt), Alturas, CA 96101 (Delmas), Quincy, CA 95971 (George), Redding, CA 96002 (Forero), Bakersfield, CA 93307 (Phillips), Red Bluff, CA 96080 (Barry), Madera, CA 93637 (McDougald), Bishop, CA 93514 (Gildersleeve), Placerville, CA 95667 (Frost).

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Gary M. Veserat From the Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center. School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Tulare, CA 93274 (Atwill); the Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital (Johnson) and Veterinary Medicine Extension (Klingborg), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616; the Cooperative Extension, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California, Woodland, CA 95695 (Veserat), Eureka, CA 95503 (Markegard), Santa Maria, CA 93455 (Jensen), Fairfield, CA 94533 (Pratt), Alturas, CA 96101 (Delmas), Quincy, CA 95971 (George), Redding, CA 96002 (Forero), Bakersfield, CA 93307 (Phillips), Red Bluff, CA 96080 (Barry), Madera, CA 93637 (McDougald), Bishop, CA 93514 (Gildersleeve), Placerville, CA 95667 (Frost).

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Gary Markegard From the Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center. School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Tulare, CA 93274 (Atwill); the Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital (Johnson) and Veterinary Medicine Extension (Klingborg), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616; the Cooperative Extension, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California, Woodland, CA 95695 (Veserat), Eureka, CA 95503 (Markegard), Santa Maria, CA 93455 (Jensen), Fairfield, CA 94533 (Pratt), Alturas, CA 96101 (Delmas), Quincy, CA 95971 (George), Redding, CA 96002 (Forero), Bakersfield, CA 93307 (Phillips), Red Bluff, CA 96080 (Barry), Madera, CA 93637 (McDougald), Bishop, CA 93514 (Gildersleeve), Placerville, CA 95667 (Frost).

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Wayne A. Jensen From the Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center. School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Tulare, CA 93274 (Atwill); the Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital (Johnson) and Veterinary Medicine Extension (Klingborg), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616; the Cooperative Extension, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California, Woodland, CA 95695 (Veserat), Eureka, CA 95503 (Markegard), Santa Maria, CA 93455 (Jensen), Fairfield, CA 94533 (Pratt), Alturas, CA 96101 (Delmas), Quincy, CA 95971 (George), Redding, CA 96002 (Forero), Bakersfield, CA 93307 (Phillips), Red Bluff, CA 96080 (Barry), Madera, CA 93637 (McDougald), Bishop, CA 93514 (Gildersleeve), Placerville, CA 95667 (Frost).

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David W. Pratt From the Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center. School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Tulare, CA 93274 (Atwill); the Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital (Johnson) and Veterinary Medicine Extension (Klingborg), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616; the Cooperative Extension, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California, Woodland, CA 95695 (Veserat), Eureka, CA 95503 (Markegard), Santa Maria, CA 93455 (Jensen), Fairfield, CA 94533 (Pratt), Alturas, CA 96101 (Delmas), Quincy, CA 95971 (George), Redding, CA 96002 (Forero), Bakersfield, CA 93307 (Phillips), Red Bluff, CA 96080 (Barry), Madera, CA 93637 (McDougald), Bishop, CA 93514 (Gildersleeve), Placerville, CA 95667 (Frost).

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Richard E. Delmas From the Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center. School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Tulare, CA 93274 (Atwill); the Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital (Johnson) and Veterinary Medicine Extension (Klingborg), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616; the Cooperative Extension, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California, Woodland, CA 95695 (Veserat), Eureka, CA 95503 (Markegard), Santa Maria, CA 93455 (Jensen), Fairfield, CA 94533 (Pratt), Alturas, CA 96101 (Delmas), Quincy, CA 95971 (George), Redding, CA 96002 (Forero), Bakersfield, CA 93307 (Phillips), Red Bluff, CA 96080 (Barry), Madera, CA 93637 (McDougald), Bishop, CA 93514 (Gildersleeve), Placerville, CA 95667 (Frost).

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Holly A. George From the Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center. School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Tulare, CA 93274 (Atwill); the Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital (Johnson) and Veterinary Medicine Extension (Klingborg), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616; the Cooperative Extension, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California, Woodland, CA 95695 (Veserat), Eureka, CA 95503 (Markegard), Santa Maria, CA 93455 (Jensen), Fairfield, CA 94533 (Pratt), Alturas, CA 96101 (Delmas), Quincy, CA 95971 (George), Redding, CA 96002 (Forero), Bakersfield, CA 93307 (Phillips), Red Bluff, CA 96080 (Barry), Madera, CA 93637 (McDougald), Bishop, CA 93514 (Gildersleeve), Placerville, CA 95667 (Frost).

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Larry C. Forero From the Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center. School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Tulare, CA 93274 (Atwill); the Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital (Johnson) and Veterinary Medicine Extension (Klingborg), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616; the Cooperative Extension, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California, Woodland, CA 95695 (Veserat), Eureka, CA 95503 (Markegard), Santa Maria, CA 93455 (Jensen), Fairfield, CA 94533 (Pratt), Alturas, CA 96101 (Delmas), Quincy, CA 95971 (George), Redding, CA 96002 (Forero), Bakersfield, CA 93307 (Phillips), Red Bluff, CA 96080 (Barry), Madera, CA 93637 (McDougald), Bishop, CA 93514 (Gildersleeve), Placerville, CA 95667 (Frost).

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Ralph L. Philips From the Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center. School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Tulare, CA 93274 (Atwill); the Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital (Johnson) and Veterinary Medicine Extension (Klingborg), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616; the Cooperative Extension, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California, Woodland, CA 95695 (Veserat), Eureka, CA 95503 (Markegard), Santa Maria, CA 93455 (Jensen), Fairfield, CA 94533 (Pratt), Alturas, CA 96101 (Delmas), Quincy, CA 95971 (George), Redding, CA 96002 (Forero), Bakersfield, CA 93307 (Phillips), Red Bluff, CA 96080 (Barry), Madera, CA 93637 (McDougald), Bishop, CA 93514 (Gildersleeve), Placerville, CA 95667 (Frost).

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Sheila J. Barry From the Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center. School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Tulare, CA 93274 (Atwill); the Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital (Johnson) and Veterinary Medicine Extension (Klingborg), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616; the Cooperative Extension, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California, Woodland, CA 95695 (Veserat), Eureka, CA 95503 (Markegard), Santa Maria, CA 93455 (Jensen), Fairfield, CA 94533 (Pratt), Alturas, CA 96101 (Delmas), Quincy, CA 95971 (George), Redding, CA 96002 (Forero), Bakersfield, CA 93307 (Phillips), Red Bluff, CA 96080 (Barry), Madera, CA 93637 (McDougald), Bishop, CA 93514 (Gildersleeve), Placerville, CA 95667 (Frost).

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Neil K. McDougald From the Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center. School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Tulare, CA 93274 (Atwill); the Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital (Johnson) and Veterinary Medicine Extension (Klingborg), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616; the Cooperative Extension, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California, Woodland, CA 95695 (Veserat), Eureka, CA 95503 (Markegard), Santa Maria, CA 93455 (Jensen), Fairfield, CA 94533 (Pratt), Alturas, CA 96101 (Delmas), Quincy, CA 95971 (George), Redding, CA 96002 (Forero), Bakersfield, CA 93307 (Phillips), Red Bluff, CA 96080 (Barry), Madera, CA 93637 (McDougald), Bishop, CA 93514 (Gildersleeve), Placerville, CA 95667 (Frost).

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Rhonda R. Gildersleeve From the Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center. School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Tulare, CA 93274 (Atwill); the Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital (Johnson) and Veterinary Medicine Extension (Klingborg), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616; the Cooperative Extension, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California, Woodland, CA 95695 (Veserat), Eureka, CA 95503 (Markegard), Santa Maria, CA 93455 (Jensen), Fairfield, CA 94533 (Pratt), Alturas, CA 96101 (Delmas), Quincy, CA 95971 (George), Redding, CA 96002 (Forero), Bakersfield, CA 93307 (Phillips), Red Bluff, CA 96080 (Barry), Madera, CA 93637 (McDougald), Bishop, CA 93514 (Gildersleeve), Placerville, CA 95667 (Frost).

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William E. Frost From the Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center. School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Tulare, CA 93274 (Atwill); the Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital (Johnson) and Veterinary Medicine Extension (Klingborg), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616; the Cooperative Extension, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California, Woodland, CA 95695 (Veserat), Eureka, CA 95503 (Markegard), Santa Maria, CA 93455 (Jensen), Fairfield, CA 94533 (Pratt), Alturas, CA 96101 (Delmas), Quincy, CA 95971 (George), Redding, CA 96002 (Forero), Bakersfield, CA 93307 (Phillips), Red Bluff, CA 96080 (Barry), Madera, CA 93637 (McDougald), Bishop, CA 93514 (Gildersleeve), Placerville, CA 95667 (Frost).

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Abstract

Objective

To evaluate fecal shedding of Cryptosporidium parvum from California cow-calf herds with respect to age, geographic region, temporal effects, and association with watery feces.

Animals

Cows and calves from 38 beef cow-calf operations.

Procedure

Fecal specimens were collected and examined for C parvum oocysts, using immunofluorescent microscopy. Associations between age, geographic region, month of collection, watery feces, and likelihood of shedding C parvum were evaluated.

Results

3.9% of cattle were shedding C parvum oocysts. Prevalence of shedding among calves ranged from 0 to 13%, and was 0.6% among cattle ≥ 12 months old. The odds of shedding C parvum among 2-month-old calves were 41 times greater than among cattle > 4 months old. The odds of shedding C parvum among cattle tested in May were 8.7 times greater than among cattle tested during June, July, or August. The odds of infected individuals having watery feces were 3 to 4 times greater than for noninfected individuals, but the etiologic fraction was only 8 to 9%.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

Substantial fecal shedding of C parvum by cow-calf herds was limited to calves 1 to 4 months old, with low prevalence detected in older animals. Risk of contamination of watersheds with C parvum was limited to those periods when young calves were in the herd. Although the odds of having watery feces were greater for animals infected with C parvum than for noninfected animals, the low etiologic fraction suggests that most calves with watery feces were not infected with C parvum. (Am J Vet Res 1999;60: 420-425)

Abstract

Objective

To evaluate fecal shedding of Cryptosporidium parvum from California cow-calf herds with respect to age, geographic region, temporal effects, and association with watery feces.

Animals

Cows and calves from 38 beef cow-calf operations.

Procedure

Fecal specimens were collected and examined for C parvum oocysts, using immunofluorescent microscopy. Associations between age, geographic region, month of collection, watery feces, and likelihood of shedding C parvum were evaluated.

Results

3.9% of cattle were shedding C parvum oocysts. Prevalence of shedding among calves ranged from 0 to 13%, and was 0.6% among cattle ≥ 12 months old. The odds of shedding C parvum among 2-month-old calves were 41 times greater than among cattle > 4 months old. The odds of shedding C parvum among cattle tested in May were 8.7 times greater than among cattle tested during June, July, or August. The odds of infected individuals having watery feces were 3 to 4 times greater than for noninfected individuals, but the etiologic fraction was only 8 to 9%.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

Substantial fecal shedding of C parvum by cow-calf herds was limited to calves 1 to 4 months old, with low prevalence detected in older animals. Risk of contamination of watersheds with C parvum was limited to those periods when young calves were in the herd. Although the odds of having watery feces were greater for animals infected with C parvum than for noninfected animals, the low etiologic fraction suggests that most calves with watery feces were not infected with C parvum. (Am J Vet Res 1999;60: 420-425)

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