Science Reuters

Pre-Weaned Cattle May Transmit Parasitic Infection to Humans

Cryptosporidium is microscopic parasites commonly known as ‘Crypto’ found in water, soil, food, surfaces or dirty hands that have been contaminated with the feces of animals and humans infected with this parasite. This genus may cause respiratory and gastrointestinal problems like severe cough and diarrhea in humans, animals, and birds. The incidence of Cryptosporidium in domestic animals may transfer this disease to humans posing a serious risk factor to human health. In animals, infected cattle are possibly substantial reservoirs of Cryptosporidium for human infections. Researchers indicated that C. parvum is primarily detected in pre-weaned while C. bovis and C. ryanae are found in post-weaned. Pre-weaned cattle are the most leading to transmitting this infection to humans.

This infection in cattle causing mucosal demolition of the abomasums, shortening of microvillus, and damage of the intestine which leads to diarrhea. Ryan et al. (2014)informed that C. parvum normally infects humans and cattle, whereas C. andersoni and C. bovis have infrequently been detected in humans. Infection with this protozoan in calves is highly significant in terms of economic damages. Various approaches have already been suggested for the detection of Cryptosporidium.

The majority of the approaches based on the direct examination of stained fecal smears under a microscope. The reformed acid-fast staining is broadly applied for clinical diagnosis due to its cost-effectiveness and simplicity. Although several immunological techniques using antibodies or antigens that are relatively expensive than conventional methods. PCR-based methods are valuable for detecting Cryptosporidium spp. in clinical samples. It has also been seen that PCR technique has high sensitivity and can detect such organisms just with a single cell.

Yilmaz et al. (2008) made a comparison between two methods, acid-fast staining and ELISA, using the stool samples of 2,000 children in Turkey for the detection of Cryptosporidium parasite. The ELISA results identified Cryptosporidium antigens in 97 children, on the other hand, acid-fast staining method found 31 positive cases, signifying the higher sensitivity of the ELISA compared to the staining method.

Cryptosporidium infection has been reported in numerous countries with the prevalence rates of the infection in cattle. Novel research published in ‘The Journal of Infection in Developing Countries, conducted by Mahmoudi et al. (2021) to access the genotyping and prevalence of Cryptosporidium spp. in diarrheic pre-weaned calves in Iran.

The researchers utilized immunological and molecular methods to access the prevalence and discernment of Cryptosporidium spp. in pre-weaned cattle of Urmia city, in the northwest of Iran. The results indicated that C. parvum was the only infectious agent in the study area and could be the leading cause of human infection.


Parasite, Human Infections, Cryptosporidium, Pre-weaned cattle,Cattle Infection, C. parvum

Add comment