Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Cryptosporidium spp. in calves and cows from organic and conventional dairy herds

  • C. SILVERLÅS (a1) (a2) and I. BLANCO-PENEDO (a1)

A cohort study was performed to investigate cryptosporidial prevalence and species distribution in 13 organic and 13 conventional dairy herds. Faecal samples were collected from 221 calves and 259 cows. Management routines were recorded at farm inspection and through a questionnaire. Samples were concentrated using sodium chloride flotation and cryptosporidial oocysts were detected by epifluorescence microscopy. Molecular analysis was used to determine species and subtypes. A multivariable model for factors associated with calves being Cryptosporidium spp. positive was built. Cryptosporidium spp.-positive animals were identified in all herds. Prevalences were similar in organic and conventional calves (44·7% vs. 52·3%), as well as in cows (3·1% vs. 3·8%), P > 0·05. Cryptosporidium bovis, C. ryanae and C. parvum were identified. C. ryanae was identified in a calf younger than the described prepatent period. The multivariable model included four significant variables; calf age, cleanliness of bedding, cleaning routines for group pens and farmers' attitudes towards biosecurity.

Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: Dr C. Silverlås, Department of Clinical Sciences, Division of Ruminant Medicine and Veterinary Epidemiology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 7054, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden. (Email:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

1. IS Hamnes , B Gjerde , L Robertson . Prevalence of Giardia and Cryptosporidium in dairy calves in three areas of Norway. Veterinary Parasitology 2006; 140: 204216.

2. C Silverlås , Prevalence and associated management factors of Cryptosporidium shedding in 50 Swedish dairy herds. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 2009; 90: 242253.

3. C Silverlås , Cryptosporidium infection in herds with and without calf diarrhoeal problems. Parasitology Research 2010; 107: 14351444.

4. R Fayer , M Santin , JM Trout . Prevalence of cryptosporidium species and genotypes in mature dairy cattle on farms in eastern United States compared with younger cattle from the same locations. Veterinary Parasitology 2007; 145: 260266.

5. Y Feng , Wide geographic distribution of Cryptosporidium bovis and the deer-like genotype in bovines. Veterinary Parasitology 2007; 144: 19.

6. M Kvac , J Vitovec . Prevalence and pathogenicity of Cryptosporidium andersoni in one herd of beef cattle. Journal of Veterinary Medicine, Series B 2003; 50: 451457.

9. J Höglund , C Svensson , A Hessle . A field survey on the status of internal parasites in calves on organic dairy farms in southwestern Sweden. Veterinary Parasitology 2001; 99: 113128.

13. GM Faubert , Y Litvinsky . Natural transmission of Cryptosporidium parvum between dams and calves on a dairy farm. Journal of Parasitology 1999; 86: 495500.

14. BJ Ralston , TA McAllister , ME Olson . Prevalence and infection pattern of naturally acquired giardiasis and cryptosporidiosis in range beef calves and their dams. Veterinary Parasitology 2003; 114: 113122.

15. C Maddox-Hyttel , Cryptosporidium and giardia in different age groups if Danish cattle and pigs – occurrence and management associated risk factors. Veterinary Parasitology 2006; 141: 4859.

16. C Silverlås , Molecular characterisation of cryptosporidium isolates from Swedish dairy cattle in relation to age, diarrhoea and region. Veterinary Parasitology 2010; 169: 289295.

17. N Fall , An observational study on early-lactation metabolic profiles in Swedish organically and conventionally managed dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science 2008; 91: 39833992.

18. EE Wildman , A dairy cow body condition scoring system and its relationship to selected production characteristics. Journal of Dairy Science 1982; 65: 495501.

22. CA Scott , An epidemiological study of Cryptosporidium parvum in two herds of adult beef cattle. Veterinary Parasitology 1995; 57: 277288.

23. AP Sturdee , Long-term study of cryptosporidium prevalence on a lowland farm in the United Kingdom. Veterinary Parasitology 2003; 116: 97113.

24. R Fayer , M Santín , L Xiao . Cryptosporidium bovis n.sp. (Apicomplexa: Cryptosporidiidae) in cattle (Bos taurus). Journal of Parasitology 2005; 91: 624629.

25. R Fayer , M Santin , JM Trout . Cryptosporidium ryanae n.sp. (Apicomplexa: Cryptosporidiidae) in cattle (Bos taurus). Veterinary Parasitology 2008; 156: 191198.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Type Description Title
Supplementary Materials

Silverlas Supplementary Material
Appendix S2

 Word (53 KB)
53 KB
Supplementary Materials

Silverlas Supplementary Material
Appendix S1

 Word (42 KB)
42 KB


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 5
Total number of PDF views: 30 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 326 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.