Prophylactic use of decoquinate for infections with Cryptosporidium parvum in experimentally challenged neonatal calves

Dale A. Moore Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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E. Robert Atwill Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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John H. Kirk Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Dipa Brahmbhatt Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Laura Herrera Alonso Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Lingling Hou Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Matthew D. Singer Department of Dairy Science, California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407.

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Tracy D. Miller Department of Animal Science, California State University, Chico, CA 95929.

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Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the effect of daily oral administration of decoquinate to neonatal calves experimentally challenged with various numbers of Cryptosporidium parvumo ocysts.

Design—Clinical trial.

Animals—75 calves.

Procedure—Calves were purchased from a commercial dairy during a 5-week period. Calves were housed in individual hutches and fed milk replacer with or without decoquinate (2 mg/kg [0.9 mg/lb per day]). Calves were randomly assigned to treatment and 1 of 5 challenge groups (0, 50, 100, 1000, or 10,000 C parvum oocysts in 60 mL of saline [0.9% NaCl] solution administered PO on the day after arrival). Calves were maintained in the study for as long as 28 days. Calves were clinically assessed for diarrhea and dehydration. Fecal samples were submitted for oocyst enumeration 3 times each week.

Results—Treatment did not affect number of days to first watery feces (diarrhea), number of days to first oocyst shedding, or duration of diarrhea or oocyst shedding. Duration of oocyst shedding was significantly associated with challenge dose of oocysts administered to calves and number of days to first oocyst shedding. Duration of diarrhea and number of days to first oocyst shedding were significantly associated with week of arrival and number of days to first watery diarrhea.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Daily treatment with decoquinate at the dosage used in this study did not affect oocyst shedding or clinical signs associated with cryptosporidiosis. However, there was an indication that if the number of oocysts calves received could be reduced, then the duration of oocyst shedding and, hence, environmental loading of C parvum oocysts could be reduced. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:839–845)

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the effect of daily oral administration of decoquinate to neonatal calves experimentally challenged with various numbers of Cryptosporidium parvumo ocysts.

Design—Clinical trial.

Animals—75 calves.

Procedure—Calves were purchased from a commercial dairy during a 5-week period. Calves were housed in individual hutches and fed milk replacer with or without decoquinate (2 mg/kg [0.9 mg/lb per day]). Calves were randomly assigned to treatment and 1 of 5 challenge groups (0, 50, 100, 1000, or 10,000 C parvum oocysts in 60 mL of saline [0.9% NaCl] solution administered PO on the day after arrival). Calves were maintained in the study for as long as 28 days. Calves were clinically assessed for diarrhea and dehydration. Fecal samples were submitted for oocyst enumeration 3 times each week.

Results—Treatment did not affect number of days to first watery feces (diarrhea), number of days to first oocyst shedding, or duration of diarrhea or oocyst shedding. Duration of oocyst shedding was significantly associated with challenge dose of oocysts administered to calves and number of days to first oocyst shedding. Duration of diarrhea and number of days to first oocyst shedding were significantly associated with week of arrival and number of days to first watery diarrhea.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Daily treatment with decoquinate at the dosage used in this study did not affect oocyst shedding or clinical signs associated with cryptosporidiosis. However, there was an indication that if the number of oocysts calves received could be reduced, then the duration of oocyst shedding and, hence, environmental loading of C parvum oocysts could be reduced. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:839–845)

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