Cryptosporidium occurrence in ruminants from the North Pioneer mesoregion of Paraná, Brazil

Abstract The aim of this study was to investigate the occurrence of Cryptosporidium in cattle and sheep from the North Pioneer mesoregion of the state of Paraná. For this, 317 stool samples were collected from cattle and sheep on 16 properties in six municipalities in the North Pioneer mesoregion of Paraná. For detection of Cryptosporidium species, molecular analysis was performed using nested-PCR techniques targeting the 18S rRNA gene. Of the 37 beef cows and 115 calves analyzed, four (10.8%) and 14 (12.2%), respectively, were positive for Cryptosporidium. Of the 12 cows and 52 calves, one (8.3%) and 14 (26.9%), respectively, were positive for Cryptosporidium; and of the 42 ewes and 59 lambs, six (14.3%) and 12 (20.3%), respectively were positive for Cryptosporidium. Cattle (15.3%) and sheep (17.8%) were both susceptible to infection. All the properties of the municipalities of Assaí, Ibaiti and, Leópolis presented infected animals. The study showed that Cryptosporidium occurs in most municipalities assessed, that dairy calves had a higher risk (Odds Ratio=2,66, p-value=0,018) for infection than beef calves, and that sheep are just as susceptible to infection as are cattle, and that further Cryptosporidium studies are developed.