Cryptosporidia on dairy farms and the role these farms may have in contaminating surface water supplies in the northeastern United States

W. M. Sischo, Edward R Atwill, L. E. Lanyon, J. George

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

70 Scopus citations

Abstract

The prevalence and risk factors for shedding of cryptosporidia by dairy cattle and calves and the prevalence and risk factors for cryptosporidia in surface waters associated with dairy farms were determined for a well-defined watershed in the northeastern United States. Eleven dairy farms were enrolled in the study and subjected to monthly sampling over a 6-month period. Animal-, water-, and manure-management practices were determined by survey and fecal, on-farm water, and stream samples were obtained monthly and evaluated for the presence of cryptosporidia. Ninety-one percent of the dairy farms in our study had Cryptosporidium on their premises. Fifteen percent of the sampled calves 0-3 weeks of age were shedding cryptosporidia. The risk factors for calves shedding cryptosporidia were contact between calves and frequent bedding changes. The probability of shedding cryptosporidia decreased with age. Nine percent of farm-associated stream samples were cryptosporidia-positive. The single risk factor for detecting cryptosporidia in surface water was increasing frequency of spreading of manure on fields. The probability of detecting cryptosporidia in streams decreased as 5-day cumulative precipitation increased. There were no animal-associated or barnyard-management features associated with detecting cryptosporidia in farm-impacted streams. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-267
Number of pages15
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Volume43
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 29 2000

Keywords

  • Cattle-parasitological disease
  • Cryptospordium
  • Surface water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)

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