Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Cryptosporidiosis outbreak caused by Cryptosporidium parvum subtype IIdA20G1 in neonatal calves.

Abstract

Cryptosporidium parvum is a major zoonotic pathogen responsible for outbreaks of severe diarrhoea in humans and calves. Almost all investigations of cryptosporidiosis outbreaks caused by C. parvum have focused on its IIa subtype family in industrialized nations. From December 2018 to April 2019, approximately 200 neonatal calves on a large cattle farm in Hebei Province, China, were diagnosed with watery diarrhoea and over 40 died. To investigate the cause of the outbreak, faecal samples were taken during and after the outbreak from neonatal calves of ≤4 weeks of age (n = 40 and n = 56) and older calves of 4-24 weeks of age (n = 79 and n = 38). A total of 18 faecal samples collected from ill calves at the peak of the outbreak were analysed for four common enteric pathogens using an enzymatic immunoassay (EIA). In addition, 75 samples from neonatal calves were tested for rotavirus by EIA. All samples were analysed for Cryptosporidium spp. using PCR and sequencing techniques. Of the initial 18 samples from sick calves, ten were positive for C. parvum, five for rotavirus, and one for coronavirus. The overall prevalence of rotavirus in neonatal calves was 20.0% (15/75), with no significant differences during and after the outbreak. In contrast, Cryptosporidium parvum infections were significantly higher during the outbreak (60.0%, 24/40) than after the outbreak (30.4%, 17/56; p = .004). Cryptosporidium parvum infection was associated with the presence of watery diarrhoea in neonatal calves (OR = 11.19), while no association was observed between C. bovis infection and diarrhoea. All C. parvum isolates were identified as subtype IIdA20G1. This is one of the few reports of outbreaks of severe diarrhoea caused by C. parvum IId subtypes in calves. More attention should be directed towards the dissemination of C. parvum in China.