Findings of Cryptosporidia and of Other Endoparasites in Heifers Imported Into the Czech-Republic

Veterinarni Medicina 40, 1995, 333-336

Totally 887 heifers of Holstein-Friesian breed mostly in late pregnancy imported to the Czech Republic from France (597), Germany (89), Denmark (181) and Holland (20) were examined coprologically from September 1993 to March 1995 in the parasitological laboratory of the National Veterinary Institute (NVI), Prague. Feces were sampled individually, rectally, always on days 1-3 following importation from heifers housed in particular quarantine sheds. In compliance with presently valid veterinary regulations, all animals were examined for liver fluke disease (fascioliasis) and lungworm. Moreover, 634 heifers were submitted to qualitative coprological examination aimed at revealing the presence of cysts and oocysts of protozoa, eggs of taenias and nematodes of gastrointestinal tract. The method according to Pavlasek (1991), especially designed for proving oocysts of the genus Cryptosporidium, was applied in all fecal specimens delivered to the SVI from animals in quarantine (N = 887). From trematodes, 12 heifers imported from France were positive for eggs of Fasciola hepatica and in other two animals eggs of the genus Paramphistomum were found. None of the imported heifers showed lungworm disease. Summary of data on occurrence of endoparasites gained during qualitative examination of samples of feces taken from heifers imported from France, Germany and Denmark is presented in Tab. I. Parasitologically, 91.2 to 100% of imported animals were positive. Taeniasis (the genus Moniezia) was detected in 2.8% of heifers imported from France and in 9.8% animals from Denmark. Protozoal parasites were found in 58.8% (Denmark) and 92.8% (Germany) heifers. Coccidial oocysts most frequently observed represented the genus Eimeria (E. bovis, E. auburnensis and E. zuernii). Gastrointestinal nematodes of nine genera were found in 72.5 to 80.8% of heifers. The most frequent findings were genera Ostertagia, Haemonchus and Trichostrongylus. Oocysts, morphologically identical with Cryptosporidium muris Tyzzer (1907), 1910, were detected in 4.5% of heifers imported into the Czech Republic from France and in 7.9% of those from Germany. In view of the fact the imported heifers were sampled always on days 1-3 of their quarantine following their importation it is quite impossible, considering the development of the protozoon, they could become infected just in the territory of the Czech Republic. Therefore, with the highest probability, our findings of C. muris-like oocysts in heifers are of priority importance for France and Germany because in the literature these countries do not report cattle as a host of this protozoon. We have found out 57.9% out of 19 animals positive for C. muris on one farm of a private cattle keeper. On the basis of a long-term monitoring of three dairy cows and one bull, the duration of the patent period is longer than 18 months, while we do not know precise onset of shedding oocysts of the protozoon in these naturally infected animals. Furthermore, the paper discusses the need of future studies of C. muris from the point of view of spread, pathogenicity, specificity and host spectrum. The author proposes and recommends obligatory examinations of imported animals with special attention paid to presence of coccidia of the genus Cryptosporidium in order to maintain, with respect to their zoonotic character, these protozoal infections under proper control. Al present the parasitological laboratory of the NVI in Prague has a bank of oocyst isolates of the C. muris type from cattle (Bos taurus), from desert hamsters (Phodopus roborovskii Satunin, 1903) and camels (Camelus bactrianus). Experimental infections is permanently kept in laboratory mice following successful transmission from desert hamsters

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