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Research (Published online: 22-09-2015)

14. Prevalence of Cryptosporidia, Eimeria, Giardia, and Strongyloides in pre-weaned calves on smallholder dairy farms in Mukurwe-ini district, Kenya - Getrude Shepelo Peter, George Karuoya Gitau, Charles Matiku Mulei, John Vanleeuwen, Shauna Richards, Jeff Wichtel, Fabienne Uehlinger and Omwando Mainga

Veterinary World, 8(9): 1118-1125



   doi: 10.14202/vetworld.2015.1118-1125


Getrude Shepelo Peter: Department of Clinical Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 29053-00625, Kangemi, Kenya;

George Karuoya Gitau: Department of Clinical Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 29053-00625, Kangemi,


Charles Matiku Mulei: Department of Clinical Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 29053-00625, Kangemi,


John Vanleeuwen: Department of Health Management, Centre for Veterinary Epidemiological Research, Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, 550 University Avenue, Charlottetown PEI Canada, C1A 4P3;

Shauna Richards: Department of Health Management, Centre for Veterinary Epidemiological Research, Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, 550 University Avenue, Charlottetown PEI Canada, C1A 4P3;

Jeff Wichtel: Department of Health Management, Centre for Veterinary Epidemiological Research, Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, 550 University Avenue, Charlottetown PEI Canada, C1A 4P3;

Fabienne Uehlinger: Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, 52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon SK Canada, S7N 5B4, Canada;

Omwando Mainga: Department of Public Health, Pharmacology, and Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 29053-00625, Kangemi, Kenya;


Received: 07-04-2015, Revised: 16-08-2015, Accepted: 23-08-2015, Published online: 22-09-2015


Corresponding author: Getrude Shepelo Peter, e-mail:

Citation: Peter SG, Gitau GK, Mulei CM, Vanleeuwen J, Richards S, Wichtel J, Uehlinger F, Mainga O (2015) Prevalence of Cryptosporidia, Eimeria, Giardia, and Strongyloides in pre-weaned calves on smallholder dairy farms in Mukurwe-ini district, Kenya, Veterinary World 8(9): 1118-1125.

Aim: Gastrointestinal diseases are among the leading causes of calf morbidity and mortality in Kenya and elsewhere. This study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of Cryptosporidia, Eimeria, Giardia, and Strongyloides in calves on smallholder dairy farms (SDF) in Mukurwe-ini District, Nyeri County, Kenya. These infections have been associated with economic losses by decreased growth rates, decreased productivity, and increased susceptibility to other diseases.

Materials and Methods: An observational study was conducted on 109 farms in Mukurwe-ini District, Nyeri County, Kenya, where 220 calf fecal samples (each calf at 4 and 6 weeks of age) from 110 calves (1 set of twins) were collected and analyzed for Cryptosporidia, Eimeria, Giardia, and helminth parasites.

Results: Eimeria oocysts, Cryptosporidia oocysts, and Strongyloides eggs were detected in the fecal samples examined, but no Giardia cysts were found. The overall period prevalence of Eimeria, Cryptosporidia, and Strongyloides was 42.7% (47/110), 13.6% (15/110), and 5.4% (6/110), respectively. The prevalence at 4 weeks of age for Eimeria, Cryptosporidia, and Strongyloides was 30.0% (33/110), 8.2% (9/110), and 3.7% (4/109), respectively, while the prevalence at 6 weeks of age was 20.2% (22/109), 6.5% (7/107), and 2.7% (3/110), respectively. There was, however, no significant difference in the prevalence at 4 and 6 weeks (p>0.05).

Conclusion: Findings from this study show that Eimeria, Cryptosporidia, and Strongyloides, are prevalent in the study area and indicate the need to adopt optimal management practices to control infections in calves.

Keywords: Cryptosporidia, Eimeria, Giardia, pre-weaned calves, smallholder dairy farms, Strongyloides.

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