Parasitic infections such as Strongylida and Eimeria still represent a major health problem of dairy cattle impacting their health, welfare, and productivity. In view of the scarcity of data on risk factors contributing to the spread of parasitic infections in cattle breeding, an epidemiological study in intensive dairy farms in northern Italy was planned. 495 animals (lactating and dry cows, heifers, and calves) from 19 farms were enrolled in the study. Individual fecal samples were analyzed by a quantitative copromicroscopic analysis to detect the number of Strongylida eggs or Eimeria oocysts per gram of faeces (EPG/OPG). Data concerning management, sanitary and biosecurity measures were collected using a questionnaire; a management measures score (MMS) was also calculated. The possible influence of risk factors on Strongylida and Eimeria was thus assessed by statistical analysis using generalized linear mixed models (GLMMs). Eimeria spp. was the most frequently detected parasitic taxon (herd and individual prevalence: 89.5% and 46.2%, respectively), followed by Strongylida (herd and individual prevalence: 63.1% and 16.6%, respectively). The presence of Strongylida resulted associated to the productive category (p-value = 0.028), with heifers and dry cows at higher risk of infection than lactating cows and calves, and to the MMS (p-value = 0.007). Higher prevalence values were recorded in farms with intermediate or low MMS compared to those with optimal MMS. As regard Eimeria infection, a greater effect of MMS on OPG was recorded in calves when compared to those recorded in heifers (OR = 0.228, p-value = 0.003) and dry cows (OR = 0.241, p-value = 0.009). Gastrointestinal parasitic infections still remain an underestimated problem in intensive dairy cattle breeding. MMS may help in the choice of strategies aimed at minimizing the impact of parasites on animal health, thus improving the productivity of the entire herd.

Gastrointestinal parasitic infections in intensive dairy cattle breeding: Update on the epidemiology and associated risk factors in northern Italy / A.L. Gazzonis, S.A. Zanzani, G. Aloisio, E. Migliorati, L. Villa, M.T. Manfredi. - In: PARASITOLOGY INTERNATIONAL. - ISSN 1383-5769. - 91:(2022 Dec), pp. 102641.1-102641.7. [10.1016/j.parint.2022.102641]

Gastrointestinal parasitic infections in intensive dairy cattle breeding: Update on the epidemiology and associated risk factors in northern Italy

A.L. Gazzonis
Primo
;
S.A. Zanzani
Secondo
;
L. Villa
Penultimo
;
M.T. Manfredi
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

Parasitic infections such as Strongylida and Eimeria still represent a major health problem of dairy cattle impacting their health, welfare, and productivity. In view of the scarcity of data on risk factors contributing to the spread of parasitic infections in cattle breeding, an epidemiological study in intensive dairy farms in northern Italy was planned. 495 animals (lactating and dry cows, heifers, and calves) from 19 farms were enrolled in the study. Individual fecal samples were analyzed by a quantitative copromicroscopic analysis to detect the number of Strongylida eggs or Eimeria oocysts per gram of faeces (EPG/OPG). Data concerning management, sanitary and biosecurity measures were collected using a questionnaire; a management measures score (MMS) was also calculated. The possible influence of risk factors on Strongylida and Eimeria was thus assessed by statistical analysis using generalized linear mixed models (GLMMs). Eimeria spp. was the most frequently detected parasitic taxon (herd and individual prevalence: 89.5% and 46.2%, respectively), followed by Strongylida (herd and individual prevalence: 63.1% and 16.6%, respectively). The presence of Strongylida resulted associated to the productive category (p-value = 0.028), with heifers and dry cows at higher risk of infection than lactating cows and calves, and to the MMS (p-value = 0.007). Higher prevalence values were recorded in farms with intermediate or low MMS compared to those with optimal MMS. As regard Eimeria infection, a greater effect of MMS on OPG was recorded in calves when compared to those recorded in heifers (OR = 0.228, p-value = 0.003) and dry cows (OR = 0.241, p-value = 0.009). Gastrointestinal parasitic infections still remain an underestimated problem in intensive dairy cattle breeding. MMS may help in the choice of strategies aimed at minimizing the impact of parasites on animal health, thus improving the productivity of the entire herd.
Biosecurity; Dairy cattle; Eimeria; Nematodes; Rearing system; Strongylida; Animals; Cattle; Dairying; Feces; Female; Lactation; Prevalence; Risk Factors; Cattle Diseases; Coccidiosis; Eimeria; Gastrointestinal Diseases; Parasites; Parasitic Diseases
Settore VET/06 - Parassitologia e Malattie Parassitarie degli Animali
4-ago-2022
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/946553
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