Cryptosporidium infection in calves and the environment in Asembo, Western Kenya: 2015

Allan Ogendo, Mark Obonyo, Peter Wasswa, Austine O Bitek, Amos Mbugua, Samuel Mwangi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Introduction: Cryptosporidium species, a zoonotic enteric coccidian parasite, is among the leading causes of diarrhea in children. We evaluated the prevalence of Cryptosporidium infections in calves, factors associated with calf infection, environmental contamination of manure by Cryptosporidium and factors that expose humans to zoonotic transmission in Asembo.

Methods: in a cross-sectional study conducted from January to July 2015, we collected fecal specimens from 350 randomly selected calves aged ≤ 6 months old and 187 manure samples from the same farms. We assessed farmers� knowledge about Cryptosporidium and collected data on characteristics using structured questionnaires. Modified Ziehl Nielsen staining was used to detect Cryptosporidium oocysts from calves� stool and manure. The prevalence of infected calves and 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% (CI) were calculated to identify possible factors associated with Cryptosporidium infection; multivariable logistic regression performed to identify factors independently associated with the presence of Cryptosporidium.

Results: calves� fecal Cryptosporidium prevalence was 8.3% (95% CI: 5.7-11.8) and 7.5% (95% CI: 4.2-12.2) in manure. Odds of infection was higher in calves with loose stool compared to those with normal stool (AOR = 6.1, 95% C.I: 2.2-16.9), calves ≤ 2 months old compared to older calves (AOR=12.7, 95% C.I: 4.5-35.8) and calves in poor sanitation compared to calves in good hygienic conditions (AOR = 9.9, 95% C.I: 3.1-30.7).

Conclusion: presence of Cryptosporidium species in calves and environment and reported human contact with animals increases zoonotic risk. We recommend further studies that determine specific Cryptosporidium species infecting animals and humans which would better estimate risk of disease transmission to humans.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPan African Medical Journal
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2017

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • cryptosporidium,
  • zoonotic
  • calves
  • Kenya


Dive into the research topics of 'Cryptosporidium infection in calves and the environment in Asembo, Western Kenya: 2015'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this