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Veterinary Medicine International
Volume 2010, Article ID 676451, 5 pages
Research Article

Investigation into the Prevalence of Cryptosporidium Infection in Calves among Small-Holder Dairy and Traditional Herds in Tanzania

1Directorate of Veterinary Services, Veterinary Investigation Centre (VIC), P.O. Box 1068, Arusha 255, Tanzania
2Department of Animal Production, Tanga Dairy Trust (TADAT), P.O. Box 1720, Tanga 255, Tanzania

Received 16 September 2010; Accepted 10 November 2010

Academic Editor: David W. Horohov

Copyright © 2010 Emanuel S. Swai and Luuk Schoonman. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A cross-sectional study was conducted to determine prevalence and risk factors of cryptosporidiosis in bovine from two contrasting production system in and around Tanga municipality between May 2003 and January 2004. The study populations comprised 117 calves aged ≤3 months, randomly selected from 44 smallholders dairy and traditional managed herds, respectively. Individual calf and herd-level information was collected using a structured questionnaire and feacal samples were screened for Cryptosporidium spp oocysts using the modified Ziehl-Neelsen method. Overall, 35% of the calves in the study were shedding Cryptosporidium spp oocysts, with at least one positive calf detected in 54.5% of herds. Independent risk factors for cryptosporidiosis were: age ≥1 to ≤2 months and level of cleanness of calf house floor categorized as dirty ( 𝑃 < . 0 5 ). Similarly an increases risk of Cryptosporidium spp infection was found in calves from smallholder dairy units compared to traditional herds ( 𝑃 < . 0 5 ). The finding highlights that Cryptosporidium spp is prevalent among calves in the area under study. The high prevalence of cryptosporidiosis detected in this study suggests that it may have a significant impact on livestock industry and that the close interaction between cattle and human may play a role in zoonotic transmission to humans.