Cryptosporidium andersoni from a Danish cattle herd: identification and preliminary characterisation

Heidi L. Enemark, Peter Ahrens, C.J. Lowery, S.M. Thamsborg, J.M.D. Enemark, Vivi Bille-Hansen, Peter Lind

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    In November 1997, Cryptosporidium andersoni, for the first time, was isolated from a Danish heifer. The isolate was characterised morphologically, molecularly, and furthermore inoculated into mice and one calf. Data on the distribution of cryptosporidia in the herd of origin were obtained at two separate visits in December 1997 and April 1998. C. andersoni was detected in 27 (19.0%) of 142 cattle examined at the first visit, whereas C. parvum was found in six (4.2%). At the following visit 42 (28.0%) of 150 cattle excreted C. andersoni, while 25 (16.7%) were positive for C. parvum. Oocysts of the Danish C. andersoni isolate were ovoid, 7.3 (6.5-8.0) x 5.7 (5.0-7.0) mum(2) (n = 25), with smooth, colourless, single layer oocyst wall and distinct oocyst residuum. The length to width ratio was 1.27 (1.14-1.40, n = 25). The identification was verified by sequencing of a 246 bp fragment of the rDNA, which was identical to Cryptosporidium muris, the calf genotype (AF093496). The Danish C. andersoni isolate was not transmissible to mice, whereas oocysts were detected in the faeces of one experimentally infected calf from 25 days post-infection (DPI) and shed intermittently at low numbers until 165 DPI, the day of euthanasia. No macroscopic or microscopic changes that could be attributed to infection with C andersoni were seen in the gastro-intestinal tract of the experimentally infected calf following necropsy and histological examination. This is to our knowledge the first report of C. andersoni in Scandinavia.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalVeterinary Parasitology
    Issue number1-2
    Pages (from-to)37-49
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


    • Cryptosporidium andersoni
    • experimental infection
    • molecular characterisation
    • cattle-protozoa
    • herd prevalence
    • Cryptosporidium parvum


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