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Prevalence and genotypic characterisation of Giardia in dairy calves from Western Australia and Western Canada

O'Handley, R.M., Olson, M.E., Fraser, D., Adams, P.J. and Thompson, R.C.A. (2000) Prevalence and genotypic characterisation of Giardia in dairy calves from Western Australia and Western Canada. Veterinary Parasitology, 90 (3). pp. 193-2000.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0304-4017(00)00235-1
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Abstract

In this study, the prevalence of Giardia duodenalis infections was determined in Western Canadian and Western Australian dairy calves. Faecal samples were collected from Holstein calves located on a commercial dairy near Lethbridge, Alta., Canada (N=28) and from calves located on two commercial dairies located near Perth, WA, Australia (N=36). Faecal samples were examined for the presence of Giardia cysts using sucrose gradient centrifugation, followed by immunofluoresence microscopy. DNA was then extracted from Giardia isolates obtained from positive samples. A PCR based method was employed to amplify and sequence a 292 bp region of the 16S-rRNA gene. Genetic sequences obtained from Giardia isolates were compared to each other and to previously sequenced isolates. Following a single faecal sample, 58% of Western Australian calves and 57% of Western Canadian calves were positive for Giardia. Geometric mean cyst counts/g of faeces were 839 for Western Australian calves and 3475 for Western Canadian calves, but these values did not differ significantly. Genetic sequences were obtained from 10 calves from Western Canada, while six sequences were obtained from Western Australian calves. Of the Western Canadian isolates, eight aligned with the proposed 'Hoofed livestock' genotype. Of the five isolates obtained from Western Australian calves, four sequences were identical to the 'Hoofed livestock' genotype. Two isolates from the Western Canadian calves and one isolate from the Western Australian calves had the identical genetic sequence to the Genotype (Assemblage) A sequence, a common human genotype. The results of this study demonstrate, for the first time, that Giardia infections occur in Western Australian calves. Also, calves from different geographical locations appear to be primarily infected with a Giardia genotype unique to hoofed livestock. However, calves can shed Giardia cysts potentially infective for humans. Thus, Giardia infections should be considered important to Australian dairy producers, and infections in calves may pose a risk to public health regardless of geographical location.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/3192
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