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Am J Vet Res. 1996 Nov;57(11):1586-8.

Field testing of prophylactic measures against Cryptosporidium parvum infection in calves in a California dairy herd.

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USDA, Agricultural Research Service, National Animal Disease Center, Ames, IA 50010-0070, USA.



To test the ability of oral vaccination or probiotic treatment with lactic acid-producing bacteria to protect calves from Cryptosporidium parvum infection under field conditions.


134 Holstein calves born on a dairy farm where cryptosporidiosis was endemic.


Calves were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatment groups at birth. Calves in the vaccine group received an oral dose of C parvum vaccine within several hours of birth. Calves in the bacteria group received an oral dose of lactic acid-producing bacteria daily for the first 10 days after birth. Control calves were not treated. All calves were monitored for diarrhea and fecal shedding of C parvum oocysts for 3 weeks.


There were no significant differences in the incidence of diarrhea and oocyst shedding among the 3 groups.


Neither vaccination nor probiotic treatment was effective in preventing C parvum infection in calves under field conditions. High numbers of C parvum in the environment may have overwhelmed any potential benefits of these regimens. Further work is necessary to develop effective prophylaxis against C parvum under field conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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