Cryptosporidium parvum is not only an occupational exposure risk for veterinary personnel, but poses a risk to other patients. In general, C. parvum oocysts are environmentally hardy and are resistant to standard disinfection. As such, rapid detection and early implementation of preventive measures are key in risk reduction. The objective of this study was to evaluate a commercially available rapid test for detection of C. parvum in comparison to an immunofluorescent antibody test (IFA) when used to test bovine fecal samples.
A diagnostic test evaluation was performed. Fecal samples were collected per rectum from calves less than 6 months of age (n=119). The study population was stratified on disease status – healthy or scouring. Two-grams of each sample were fixed and tested via a commercially available rapid test marketed for use in human healthcare, and IFA, the recognized gold standard testing method. Isolates were submitted for genetic typing.
Overall, there was moderate agreement among the tests evaluated (kappa statistic = 0.52 [95%CI 0.30, 0.75]) with the prevalence of test-positive samples being higher when using the rapid test (16.8%; 20/119) as compared to IFA (9.2%; 11/119). Among samples with health status recorded (n=113), cryptosporidium was identified more commonly among scouring calves (14.3% rapid test; 21.4% IFA) than healthy calves (9.1% rapid test; 17.2% IFA), irrespective of the testing method used.
This evaluation demonstrates that this rapid test may be a useful tool in managing this risk in the hospital setting, and shows the relatively high prevalence of cryptosporidium among apparently healthy calves.
University of Georgia
Dr. Brandy Burgess is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Infection Control in the Department of Population Health in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia. She earned her DVM in 2005 from Colorado State University and subsequently completed a residency in large animal internal medicine and Master’s degree at the University of Saskatchewan. She then returned to Colorado State University, completing a residency in infection control and biosecurity and PhD in epidemiology in 2014. She is also a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (LAIM) and the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine. Her current research focuses on infection control and disease prevention in veterinary medicine.
Thursday, June 14
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