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Vet Parasitol. 2013 Oct 18;197(1-2):104-12. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2013.04.022. Epub 2013 Apr 20.

Cryptosporidium parvum: determination of ID₅₀ and the dose-response relationship in experimentally challenged dairy calves.

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Department of Animal Science, College of Animal Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


The objectives were to determine the median infective dose (ID₅₀) of Cryptosporidium parvum and to describe the dose-response relationship including associated clinical illness in experimentally challenged dairy calves. Within the first 24h of life, 27 test calves were experimentally challenged with C. parvum oocysts and 3 control calves were sham dosed. Test calves received 1 of 8 possible doses (25, 50, 100, 500, 1 × 10(3), 1 × 10(4), 1 × 10(5), and 1 × 10(6) oocysts). All 27 test calves developed diarrhea. Fecal oocyst shedding occurred in 25 (92.6%) test calves and in 0 control calves. The 2 non-shedding test calves both received 25 oocysts. There was an inverse relationship between dose and time to onset of fecal oocyst shedding (P=0.005). There was no relationship found between dose and duration (P=0.2) or cessation (P=0.3) of fecal oocyst shedding. In addition, there was not a significant relationship between log-dose and the log-peak oocysts (P=0.2) or log-total oocysts (P=0.5) counted/g of feces across the dose groups. There was a positive dose-response relationship between log-dose and diarrhea (P=0.01). However, when controlling for other factors, such as onset and cessation of fecal oocyst shedding, dose was not a significant predictor of diarrhea (P=0.5). Onset and cessation of fecal oocyst shedding were found to be the best predictors of diarrhea (P=0.0006 and P=0.04, respectively). The ID₅₀ for fecal oocyst shedding was 5.8 oocysts, for diarrhea was 9.7 oocysts, and for fecal oocyst shedding with diarrhea was 16.6 oocysts. Given that the ID₅₀ of C. parvum is far less than would be excreted into the environment by a naturally infected calf, prevention and control of cryptosporidiosis is a formidable challenge.


Bovine; Calf; Cryptosporidium; Dose–response; Infectious dose

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