Cryptosporidium and Giardia in Belgium


Cryptosporidium is one of the most common enteropathogens causing diarrhea in neonatal calves, while Giardia is more prevalent in calves older than 1 month, and is also known to cause diarrhea in calves. High prevalences of both protozoa have been reported worldwide, but differed significantly between countries, which can partially be attributed to the diagnostic methods employed. Furthermore, both parasites are potential zoonotic infections, and transmission of infection from animal to human hosts has previously been described.
For the treatment of bovine giardiosis, no chemotherapeutic compounds are registered, although previous studies indicated that several benzimidazole compounds effectively reduce cyst excretion, especially in well-managed environments.

Current research
A large scale molecular epidemiological study is conducted to estimate parasite prevalence and the occurence of zoonotic species and (sub)genotypes in calves younger than 10 weeks. To evaluate different diagnostic assays for use in epidemiological studies and to estimate parasite prevalence, a Bayesian approach was used. Both Cryptosporidium and Giardia were found to be highly prevalent in subsequent cross-sectional studies on 100 dairy and 50 beef farms in the province of East Flanders, Belgium. Furthermore, the prevalence of Cryptosporidium and Giardia is estimated in several additional hosts, including small ruminants, dogs and human patients.
Since both parasites have zoonotic potential, molecular tools are used for species determination and subgenotyping.
For the treatment and control of a Giardia infection in calves, paromomycin was tested in experimantal conditions, and fenbendazole in natural conditions.

Future projects
Future projects include the study of the dynamics between human and animal transmission cycles in endemic foci, using subgenotyping tools and GIS (, and the immunity against Giardia infections in ruminant models.




Name Role Start End
Claerebout, Edwin member 2002-07-01
Geurden, Thomas member 2002-07-01


Name Role Start End
Laboratory of Parasitology member 2009-07-01
Parasitology member 2002-07-01


Reference Role
Geurden, T., Claerebout, E ., Vercruysse, J., Berkvens, D., 2004. Estimation of test characteristics and prevalence of Giardia duodenalis in dairy calves in Belgium using a Bayesian approach. Int J Parasitol 34, 1121-1127. author
Geurden, T., Claerebout, E ., Dursin L., Deflandre, A., Bernay, F., Kaltsatos, V., Vercruysse, J., 2005. The efficacy of an oral treatment with paromomycin against an experimental infection with Giardia in calves. Vet Parasitol 135, 241-247. author
Geurden, T., Goma, F.Y., Siwila, J., Phiri, I.G.K., Mwanza, A.M., Gabriel, S., Claerebout, E ., Vercruysse, J., 2006. Prevalence and genotyping of Cryptosporidium in three cattle husbandry systems in Zambia. Vet Parasitol 138, 217-222.

Geurden, T., Berkvens, D., Geldhof, P., Vercruysse, J., Claerebout, E ., 2006. A Bayesian approach for the evaluation of six diagnostic assays and the estimation of Cryptosporidium prevalence in dairy calves. Vet Res 37, 671-682. author
Geurden, T., Vercruysse, J., Claerebout, E., 2006. Field testing of a fenbendazole treatment combined with hygienic and management measures against a natural Giardia infection in calves. Vet Parasitol 142, 367-371. author
Hellebuyck T., Vancraynest D., Geurden T., Claerebout E., Pasmans F., 2007. Cryptosporidiosis in snakes. Vlaams Diergeneeskundig Tijdschrift 76, 26-30. author
Hellebuyck T., Vancraynest D., Geurden T., Claerebout E., Pasmans F., 2007. The prevalence of cryptosporidiosis in Belgian snake collections. Vlaams Diergeneeskundig Tijdschrift 76, 31-34. author
Goma, F.Y., Geurden, T., Siwila, J. , Phiri, I.G.K., Gabriel, S., Claerebout, E. , Vercruysse, J., 2007. The prevalence and molecular characterisation of Cryptosporidium spp. in small ruminants in Zambia. Small Ruminant Res, 72, 77-80 author
Siwila, J., Phiri, I.G.K.,Vercruysse, J., Goma, F., Gabriel, S., Claerebout, E., Geurden T., 2007. Asymptomatic cryptosporidiosis in Zambian dairy farm workers and their household members. T Roy Soc Trop Med H 101, 733-734. author
Geurden, T., Berkvens D., Martens C., Casaert, S., Vercruysse, J., Claerebout, E., 2007. Molecular epidemiology with subtype analysis of Cryptosporidium in calves in Belgium. Parasitology 134, 1981-1987 author
Geurden, T., Geldhof, P., Levecke, B., Martens, C., Berkvens, D., Casaert, S., Vercruysse, J., Claerebout, E., 2007. Mixed Giardia duodenalis assemblage A and E infections in calves. Int J Parasitol, 38, 259-264 author
Geurden T., Claerebout E., Vercruysse J., Berkvens D., 2007. A Bayesian evaluation of four immunological assays for the diagnosis of clinical cryptosporidiosis in calves. Vet J 176, 400-402 author
Geurden T., Thomas P., Casaert S., Vercruysse J., Claerebout E., 2008. Prevalence and molecular characterisation of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in lambs and goat kids in Belgium. Vet Parasitol 155, 142-145 author
Geurden T., Berkvens D., Casaert S., Vercruysse J., Claerebout E., 2008. A Bayesian evaluation of three diagnostic assays for the detection of Giardia duodenalis in symptomatic and asymptomatic dogs. Vet. Parasitol., in press author

created:2011-12-14 14:18:59 UTC, source:web

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