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Cryptosporidium in Calves, Lambs and Kids at Haramaya, eastern Ethiopia

A Regassa
O Gizaw
F Abunna
R Abebe
D Beyene
B Megersa
E Debela
K Asmare
E Skierve


A cross sectional study was carried out from November 2010 to April 2011 to determine the prevalence of Cryptosporidium in calves, lambs and kids and to assess potential risk factors in Haramaya, eastern Ethiopia. Hence, fecal samples from a total of 237 study animals (133 calves, 63 lambs and 41 kids) were tested with Sheather’s flotation technique and Modified Ziehl-Neelsen Staining. Accordingly, the overall prevalence was found to be 23.6% (56/237) with the prevalence of 27.8% (37/133) in calves, 22.2% (14/63) in lambs and 12.2% (5/41) in kids. The prevalence of Cryptosporidium significantly (p = 0.047) varied with species of study animals being three times higher likelihood of occurrence in calves compared to its chance of occurrence in kids (OR = 2.8, 95%CI = 1.0, 7.6). No significant difference in prevalence was observed between kids and lambs. The occurrence of the disease was also assessed among the species of animals by taking into consideration different demographic characteristic of the animals including breed, age and sex. For caprine, the prevalence was higher in the cross breed animals (28.6%) followed by the breed of Hararge highland (25%) with no report of the disease in Boer and Ogaden breeds. In ovine, no association was observed between the infection occurrence and the potential risk factors. Analysis of the risk factors in bovine revealed a significant (p = 0.044) difference in disease occurrence among age groups with almost three times more likelihood of the disease occurrence in calves under 3 months than older age category(OR = 2.9, 95%CI = 1.0, 8.2). In conclusion, this study demonstrated the importance of Cryptosporidium in young ruminants with a higher prevalence among calves than lambs and kids.

Key words: Cryptosporidium; Prevalence; Risk Factors; Calves, Lambs, Kids, Haramaya, Ethiopia

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eISSN: 2221-5034
print ISSN: 1683-6324