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Studies on Coccidiosis of Calves in Hungarian Dairy Farms
- Farkas, R., Szeidemann, Z., Majoros, G.
- Parasitology research 2007 v.101 no.1 pp. 113-120
- Eimeria, animal health, calves, coccidiosis, dairy farming, farming systems, farms, feces, oocysts, taxonomy
- In most Hungarian dairy farms clinical coccidiosis of calves had been misdiagnosed because of the lack of information on the presence of Eimeria sp. in local animals, causing inestimable animal health problems and economical losses. For this reason the first countrywide study on coccidiosis of calves was carried out in 86 dairy farms. Faecal samples were collected from 743 calves aged between two and four months old in 2005 and 2006. The number of animals enrolled per farm ranged between two and ten. During the qualitative ovoscopy, 100 oocysts per sample were examined for species identification. Eimeria oocysts were found in 245 (33%) samples. Of the seven species identified, the most prominent species were E. auburnensis (19.6%), E. ellipsoidalis (15.9%) and E. bovis (14.9%). Eimeriazuernii, E. cylindrica, E. pellita or E. subsphaerica oocysts were found in less than 20 samples each. Multiple infections with two or more species occurred in 83 (33.9%) calves. The oocysts of at least one of the two pathogenic species, E. bovis and/or E. zurnii, were found on every farm studied, which infected 118 (48.2%) animals, however, clinical coccidiosis was not observed. Coccidia of Eimeria were present in 74 (86.0%) out of 86 farms, occurring countrywide, where the number of Eimeria sp. ranged between one and six. Based on these preliminary results the authors emphasise that veterinarians and cattle owners should be familiar with clinical signs and the potential implications of cattle coccidiosis. Management procedures and application of anti-coccidial compound are needed for minimising the impact of coccidiosis.