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The First Findings of Giardia Spp in Horses in the Czech-Republic

PAVLASEK I, HESS L, STEHLIK I, STIKA V
Veterinarni Medicina 40, 1995, 81-86

The first occurrence of Giardia spp. in horses in the Czech Republic is reported. During preventive examination of 360 five-month up to 14-year horses from various parts of the region of Central Bohemia carried out from January 1993 to June 1994 in the parasitological laboratory of the State Veterinary Institute in Prague, the Giardia cysts were detected in the excrements of 18 (5%) horses, mostly 2-4 years of age, and in two foals 3 and 6 weeks old. During the period between March 1993 and June 1994, systematic and repeated observation was aimed at a group of 38 racing horses two up to four years of age from two studs in the surroundings of Prague. In one of these studs Giardia spp. cysts were found in 7 horses (35%) out of a total of 20 animals. During bacteriological examination of horses infected with Giardia carried out parallelly, only in one animal pathogenic bacteria Rhodococcus equi and Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus were detected in the excrements. After the application of Entizole (following discontinuation of the preparation on days 4 and 50), however, the result of bacteriological examination was negative. The size of cysts (n = 100) was 12.8-16.0 x 9.6-11.2 mu m (with the mean of 14.6 x 9.9 mu m) there was no finding of free trophozoites of Giardia in the horse excrements examined. On the basis of morphological characteristics of the protozoon cysts and of the structure of median bodies (following excystation of the Giardia cysts in vitro), the intestinal flagellate found in horses can be included into the morphological group of G. intestinalis. By a long-term observation of seven spontaneously infected horses, new data on the dynamics and duration of shedding Giardia cysts and on the possibility of spread of the parasite in the environment of their housing have been obtained. In three of the spontaneously infected horses the efficiency of Entizole in its total daily dose of 3.5, 5 and 7.5 g/animal was verified and in one of the horses (after failure of the treatment with the dose of 5 g/day) the efficiency of Avrazor was also verified in its dose of 7.5 g in the coure of 3 days. It came out from these, till now preliminary results that 10-12 day application of Entizole in the dose of 7.5 g/horse resulted in total control of shedding of the flagellate during the treatment and during at least 40 days after. discontinuation of its application, while in case of the dose of 3.5 g/horse findings of the Giardia cysts were repeatedly positive as early as on day 8 after ending the treatment, its intensity being in fact identical with the quantity of cysts found in the excrements of the horse before the application of Entizole. Three-day application of Avrazor to one animal in which during the five-month period (following completion of 12-day medication with Entizole in the dose of 5 g) the Giardia cysts were intermittently found was successful and till now, in the course of 7 months, the protozoon has not been detected in this horse. Further studies are needed to clarify whether the horse can represent a source of spread of giardiosis among other farm animals, as well as a potential source of infection for a man, in the case of taking this protozoal infection for zoonosis


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